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v.JS 






UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA 
AT LOS ANGELES 







THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA 



The James Sprunt Historical Publications 

PUBLISHED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF 

The North Carolina Historical Society 

J. G. DE ROULHAC HAMILTON ) p ,. 
HENRY McGiLBERT WAGSTAFF j ** 

VOL. 13 No. 2 




CONTENTS 
THE HARRINGTON LETTERS 



James Sprunt Historical Monographs 

No. i. PERSONNEL OP THE CONVENTION OF 1861. 

By John Gilchrist McCorraick. 
LEGISLATION OF THE CONVENTION OF 1861. 

By Kemp P. Battle. 
No. 2. THE CONGRESSIONAL CAREER OF NATHANIEL MACON. 

By Edwin Mood Wilson. 

No. 3. LETTERS OF NATHANIEL MACON, JOHN STEELE, AND WILLIAU 
BARRY GROVE, WITH NOTES. 

By Kemp P. Battle. 

No. 4. LETTERS AND DOCUMENTS RELATING TO THE EARLY HISTORY OF THE 
LOWER CAPE FEAR, WITH INTRODUCTION AND NOTES. 
By Kemp P. Battle. 

No. 5. MINUTES OF THE KEHUKEY ASSOCIATION, WITH INTRODUCTION 
AND NOTES. 

By Kemp P. Battle. 

No. 6. DIARY OF A GEOLOGICAL TOUR BY ELISHA MITCHELL IN 1827 AND 
1828. INTRODUCTION AND NOTES. 

By Kemp P. Battle. 
No. 7. WILLIAM RICHARDSON DAVIE, A MEMOIR. 

By J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton. 
LETTERS OF WILLIAM RICHARDSON DAVIE, WITH NOTES. 
By Kemp P. Battle. 

No. 8. THE PROVINCIAL COUNCIL AND COMMITTEES OF SAFETY IN NORTH 
CAROLINA. 

By Bessie Lewis Whitaker. 

The James Sprunt Historical Publications 

VOL. 9, No. i. THE SOCIETY FOR THE PROPAGATION OF THE GOSPEL IN THS 
PROVINCE OF NORTH CAROLINA. 

By D. D. Oliver. 

CORRESPONDENCE OF JOHN RUST EATON. 
VOL. 9, No. 2. FEDERALISM IN NORTH CAROLINA. 

By Henry M. Wagstaff. 
LETTERS OF WILLIAM BARRY GROVE. 
VOL. 10, No. i. BENJAMIN SHERWOOD HEDRTCK. 

By J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton. 
VOL. 10, No. 2. BARTLETT YANCEY. 

By George A. Anderson. 

THE POLITICAL AND PROFESSIONAL CAREER OF BARTLETT 
YANCEY. 

By J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton. 
LETTERS TO BARTLETT YANCEY. 
VOL. u, No. i. COUNTY GOVERNMENT IN COLONIAL NORTH CAROLINA. 

By W. C. Guess. 

VOL. n, No. 2. THE NORTH CAROLINA CONSTITUTION OF 1776 AND ITS 
MAKERS. 

By Frank Nash. 

THE GERMAN SETTLERS OF LINCOLN COUNTY AND WEST- 
ERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

By Joseph R. Nixon. 

VOL. 12, No. i. THE GOVERNOR, COUNCIL, AND ASSEMBLY IN ROYAL NORTH 
CAROLINA. 

By C. S. Cooke. 
LAND TENURE IN PROPRIETARY NORTH CAROLINA. 

By L. N. Morgan. 
VOL. 12, No. 2. THE NORTH CAROLINA INDIANS. 

By James Hall Rand. 
Vol. 13, No. i. THE GRANVILLE DISTRICT. 

By E. Merton Coulter. 
THE NORTH CAROLINA COLONIAL BAR. 

By E. A. Alderman. 



THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA 



The James Spruit Historical Publications 

PUBLISHED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF 

The North Carolina Historical Society 

J. G. DE ROULHAC HAMILTON ) _,,. 
HENRY MCGILBERT WAGSTAFF f * 

VOL. 13 No. 2 




CONTENTS 
THE HARRINGTON LETTERS 



CHAPEL HILL, N. C. 

PUBLISHED BY THE UNIVERSITY 

1914 



DURHAM, N. C. 

THE SEEMAN PEINTEEY 

1914 



THE HARRINGTON LETTERS 

BY 
H. M. WAGSTAFF 



, 13 



INTRODUCTOR Y NOTE 

Herewith are presented certain letters of the Harrington 
family which were made available by the courtesy of Mr. 
William Weldon Huske, of Fayetteville, a descendant of 
General Henry William Harrington, of Revolutionary fame. 
It is thought by the editor that this collection all but com- 
pletes the extant manuscript records of the Harrington fam- 
ily up to 1815, and particularly those of General Harring- 
ton himself up to his death in 1809. A mass of references 
and a large amount of his correspondence appears in the 
North Carolina State Records (Volumes 13 to 24 inclusive). 
Likewise Alexander Gregg, in his "History of the Old Che- 
raws" makes acknowledgement (note, page 105) to Col. H. 
W. Harrington (son of General Harrington) for valuable 
manuscripts from his father's collection illustrative of his 
public service and the Revolutionary history of the Peedee 
country. Nearly half a hundred of his letters, to or from 
General Gates, Governor Richard Caswell, Colonel Marion, 
John Penn, Alexander Martin, and others, are published by 
Gregg. These, together with the matter in the State Records 
concerning Harrington make a fairly complete summary of 
the Revolutionary services of this patriot and gentleman 
of the early days of our republic. Gregg notes that the pri- 
vate journal and a large part of the other papers of General 
Harrington were destroyed by the Tories in a pillage of his 
home during the Revolution. The few letters by him and to 
him in the present collection are, for the most part, personal, 
and written after the Revolutionary epoch. 

Henry William Harrington, the younger son of a Lon- 
don gentleman, emigrated from England to the West Indies, 
and, after remaining in Jamaica a short time, came to South 
Carolina and settled on the Peedee River, near Cheraw, in 
a district known as Welch's Neck. It is not definitely known 
what year he settled there j but while a resident of South Car- 
olina he married Rosanna Auld, daughter of Major James 



446400 



6 JAMES SPKUNT HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS 

Auld, of Anson County, North Carolina. This marriage was 
contracted shortly before the Revolution, and from it were 
born in time five children in the order named: Rosanna, 
James Auld, Harriet, Henry William, and Carolina, all of 
whom are subjects of mention in the following letters. As 
the Revolution approached Harrington was sheriff of the 
Oheraw District and on August 3rd 1775, was commissioned 
by the South 'Carolina Council of Safety a captain of a volun- 
teer company of militia in St. David's Parish. In Septem- 
ber, 1776, he was elected a member from the same parish to 
the South Carolina Assembly, but in the following month he 
removed to North Carolina, settling with his family twelve 
miles north of his South Carolina home, and to the east side 
of the Peedee, in that portion of Anson 'County that three 
years latter (1779) was erected into a separate county and 
named Richmond. Here Harrington had acquired a consid- 
erable area of very valuable lands and upon which he estab- 
lished a home which he called "Beausejour." Here four 
of his children were born. Though plundered by Tories and 
British on two successive occasions during the Revolution, 
the property was afterward restored to its attractive state and 
remained the family seat and a typical southern slave planta- 
tion until the Civil War. 

One month after Harrington's removal to North Carolina 
he was commissioned by the new-born state a colonel of 
militia in Anson County. In this capacity he was active in 
holding down the numerous Tories of his district during the 
four years preceeding the British attack upon the Southern 
States in 1780. In that year, commanding a force of North 
iCarolina militia, Colonel Harrington arrived in Charleston, 
April 6, and reported to General Benjamin Lincoln who com- 
manded the defences of the port. Moultrie's Journal at- 
tests the value of the services of these raw troops. When the 
capture of the town became imminent, Colonel Harrington, 
with the advice and unanimous consent of the Lieutenant 
Governor and Council of South Carolina, and by the order 
of General Lincoln, left 'Charleston in April for Newbern, 



THE HARRINGTON LETTERS 7 

North Carolina, there to take his seat in the General Assem- 
bly, to which he had in the meantime been elected, and to urge 
in behalf of South Carolina a large and immediate aid of 
North Carolina militia (See letter from Harrington to Mrs. 
Harrington, Gregg, Old Cheraws, 301-302). Lincoln, how- 
ever, surrendered Charleston to Clinton on the 27th of May. 
Cornwallis, with upward of 5,000 British regulars, was now 
left by Clinton to prosecute the campaign for the conquest 
of the South. Congress, disregarding the advice of Wash- 
ington, now appointed General Horatio Gates, of Saratoga 
fame, to independent command of the Southern department, 
and the Southern States made haste to put their forces in 
fighting condition. The North Carolina Board of War ap- 
pointed Colonel Harrington as Brigadier General, pro tern. 
of the Salisbury District, which included the most exposed 
area of the state. Harrington stationed himself with head- 
quarters at Cross Creek (now Fayetteville) in the center 
of the Highland Tory region from which Cornwallis expected 
to derive much aid. Cornwallis had thrown out detachments 
northward, one taking post at 'Cheraw near the Peedee and 
on the very borders of North Carolina. At Cross Creek Gen- 
eral Harrington, with care of the country from Anson to the 
sea coast, kept a vigilant watch on the British outposts and 
sternly held the Tories of the Cape Fear country in check. 
At the same time he collected large supplies for the regular 
army. On the advance of Gates to attack the British at 
Camden, he summoned Harrington from Cross Creek to 
join him. A forced march was immediately begun by Har- 
rington's forces, but upon arrival at Haley's Ferry on the 
Peedee he received intelligence of Gates' disastrous defeat 
on August 16. Harrington now established himself at Haley's 
Ferry for a time and performed most effective service in 
reorganizing the defense against the British advance. Like- 
wise he co-operated effectually with Colonels Marion and 
Sumter, the guerilla leaders of South Carolina in their en- 
deavors to hamper the forward move of the British forces. 
Nevertheless, in September, Cornwallis, reinforced by troops 



8 JAMES SPEUNT HISTOEICAL PUBLICATIONS 

from Clinton's command at New York, passed into North 
Carolina, Ferguson, the Marion of the Royalists, moving on 
his left. The latter was surprised at King's Mountain, there 
ensuing one of the bloodiest fights of the Eevolution. After 
the loss of one-third of their number, and the death of Fer- 
guson himself, the remaining Koyalists laid down their 
arms. Cornwallis in consequence fell back upon his old 
posts in South 'Carolina in the last months of the year ; while 
the Continental Congress appointed Gen. Nathaniel Greene 
to succeed Gates in the Southern department. In the mean- 
time the General Assembly of North Carolina, to meet the 
threatened advance of the British, determined upon a re- 
organization of the state militia in order to more perfectly 
integrate it with the defense which was expected of the Con- 
tinental troops. Hence it now elected Lieutenant Colonel 
Wm. Davidson, of the Continentals, to the post of Brigadier 
General which had been conferred temporarily upon Gen- 
eral Harrington by the Board of War. General Harring- 
ton thereupon sent in his resignation, but continued to ex- 
ercise the command and cooperated with Greene until the 
first months of 1781, when General Davidson assumed the 
duties of the post. 

We have no record of military service on the part of 
General Harrington during the struggle between Greene and 
'Cornwallis in the 'Carolinas through the last year of the 
war that culminated in Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown, 
Oct. 19, 1781. In 1783, the first year of peace, he was 
elected a member of the state senate from Richmond County, 
and again in 1785. In 1791 he was elected by the Assem- 
bly a member of the Council of State. Again he was sent 
to the state senate in 1798, and this appears to have been 
his last public service. Strongly attached to the pursuits of 
a country gentleman, he quietly cultivated his home estate 
in Richmond and his South Carolina estate near Cheraw, 
in Chesterfield County, and to a remarkable degree rehabi- 
litated his personal fortunes. Under a regime of slave labor 
and unscientific methods he constantly sought to improve the 



THE HARRINGTON LETTERS 9 

art of agriculture. He kept up a correspondence with several 
public men "in his latter years, but mainly upon things agri- 
cultural. A Federalist in politics, he nevertheless took no 
part in the bitter partizan warfare of public men in the 
last decade of his life. He died at his seat, "Beausejour" in 
Richmond, March 31, 1809, in the sixty second year of his 
age. 

After General Harrington's death, the letters of chief 
interest in the collection are those from Charles Washington 
Goldsborough to Mrs. Harrington. They relate particular- 
ly to the interests of young Henry William Harrington, 2nd 
son of the General, whom Mrs. Harrington contemplated put- 
ting to school in the North. However, before her plans were 
settled, the war of 1812 approached, and through Goldsbo- 
rough young Harrington secured an appointment as mid- 
shipman in the American navy. It is regrettable that the 
other side of the correspondence, the letters of Mrs. Harring- 
ton to Goldsborough, are not available. From the one letter 
to her son, appearing herewith, it is evident that she writes 
in a very lively and interesting strain. 

The letters have been placed in chronological order, de- 
spite the fact that the continuity of the larger series, the 
letters from Goldsborough to Mrs. Harrington, is broken 
by interpolation of others to or from Midshipman Harring- 
ton. By this method they preserve somewhat better their 
continuity of interest. 

Thanks are due to Mr. W. W. Huske, of Fayetteville, 
for placing at the disposal of the editor a sketch of the Har- 
rington family preserved in his own family records. Its in- 
terest is mainly geneological and such portions as have been 
used appear among the foot-notes to the letters. I also wish 
to thank Mr. W. A. Kirksey, of Cluster Springs, Virginia, 
for valuable assistance in reading the original manuscripts. 

H. M. WAGSTAFF. 
Chapel Hill, K C., July 15, 1914. 



THE HARRINGTON LETTERS 

PEEDEE, August 17, 1785. 
DEAR SIR: 

I hope that Lieut. Campbell has restored my negro 
Cuffee, 1 and paid you full fees with every expense, if so you 
will sir be pleased to send Cuffee to me by Jonathan Wise, 
otherwise you will proceed against Campbell in two actions. 
Should you sir have a moment's leisure I might also 
learn in what State the suit commenced against Jo. Johnston 
stands and I shall my ever dear sir, rejoice exceedingly to 
hear by the same conveyance that you are in perfect health. 
With the most affectionate regard, the most perfect esteem 
I am, 

My dear sir 

Your most humble & most obt. Servant, 

H. W. HARRINGTON. 
The Hon ble General Pinckney, 2 
Charles Town. 



*A negro slave, son of Toney (General Harrington's body servant, whose 
note appears later), who was carried off by the British in their raids north- 
ward after Gates' defeat at Camden in 1780. Cuffee was a negro of remark- 
ably valuable traits of character. Carried off with other negro slaves when 
General Harrington's plantation was raided in the summer of 1870, Cuffee 
subsequently fell Into the hands of Captain Campbell, a British officer, who 
settled after the Revolution on Peedee. General Harrington brought suit 
against Campbell in Cheraw District for Cuffee's recovery. The damages 
found were large, and only to be discharged by the delivery of the negro. 
Rather than pay the amount, Captain Campbell sent to Jamaica for Cuffee, 
where he had been transported, and delivered him to his master. 

2 Charles cotesworth Pinckney acted as General Harrington's attorney 
in South Carolina. In a letter from Pickney to Harrington, Aug. 24, 1785 
(State Records Vol. 17, p. 166) the latter is informed that he has not yet 
heard from Campbell and will proceed with the suit ; that Johnston refuses 
to honor the debt except by security for payment in installments extend- 
ing over four years. He requests instructions on the question of ac- 
ceptance of security. Certain other of their correspondence on various busi- 
ness matters appears in Vols. 15, 16, and 17 of the N. C. State Records. 



YORK, June 10, 1780 
SIR: 

A few days before I set out for this city Mrs. Goldsbo- 
rough 1 of Dorchester County sent me the enclosed letter for 
Col. Harrington which I presume covers one for her mother 
Mrs. Auld. She is very desirous that it should have a safe 



THE HARRINGTON LETTERS 11 

and speedy conveyance. I shall therefore thank you to 
forward it by the first opportunity. 

It will give me much pleasure to facilitate the communi- 
cation between Mrs. Auld and her daughter ; any letter that 
she will please to enclose to me shall go safe to her friends 
in Maryland. 

I am, with Respect, 

JOHN HENRY 2 

Col. Henry William Harrington, 
on Pee Dee Eiver, 

Anson County, 

N". Carolina. 



1 Mrs. Robert Goldsborough, whose husband was born in Cambridge, Dor- 
chester County, Maryland, in 1733 ; died there Dec. 31, 1788. He was a gradu- 
ate of Philadelphia College (Now University of Pennsysvania) in 1760, took 
an active part in the anti-Revolutionary movements, was Attorney-General of 
Maryland in 1768, and a delegate to the Continental Congrss of 1774-75, and 
that of May 1776. Mrs. Goldsborough was a Miss Auld of North Carolina, 
and sister of Rosanna, wife of General Harrington. She was mother of 
Charles Washington Goldsborough whose note appears later in this series. 

1 Henry, John, b. in Easton, Maryland, about 1750 ; died there, Dec. 
16, 1798. He was graduated at Princeton in 1769, studied law and prac- 
ticed at Easton. He was a delegate from Maryland to the Continental Con- 
gress in 1778-81, and again in 1784-87, and was then elected to the United 
States Senate, serving from 1789 till Dec. 10, 1797, when he resigned, hav- 
ing been elected governor of his State. He held this office until the time 
of his death. 



LOWTHER, 14 November, 1788. 
DEAR SIR -, 1 

I am now happy to have an opportunity to drop you a 
line from our Native Country, where I have spent some weeks 
past rather in gayety than satisfactorily among my relatives 
indeed we have been entirely taken up in attending our 
Family leader the Earl of Lonsdale 2 since the fourth inst. 
At a Jubilee given by his Lordship at his castle at White- 
haven in commemoration of the Centenary Revolution on the 
landing of King William who was supported by the 
Lowther family as my cousin (Col. Lowther) 3 has had the 
burthen of this business in aid to his lordship, I have had in 
addition to his Lordship's notice on this occasion a fair op- 
portunity of personal observation, and should be particu- 
lar in giving you an account of the greatest entertainment 
ever given by a subject were it not taken such notice of in the 



12 JAMES SPRUNT HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS 

public prints that you can not possibly miss it. It is sure 
that there were sixteen thousand people collected. I think 
we had upwards of four hundred gentlemen and ladies (in- 
cluding nobility) in the Castle and indeed every gentle- 
man of consequence on either side of Parliamentary disputes 
seems to have stepped forward in every part of the kingdom 
to demonstrate an attachment to the present Royal Family. 
This is lucky for England, as the death 4 of his Majesty of 
which we are just informed gives us a devilish prospect of 
the convulsions that a consequential parliamentary dissolu- 
tion will create in this country his Lordship is not yet 
arrived at Lowther but is hourly expected on his way to 
London from the Castle. Four carriage and three Post 
Horses are ready harnessed and saddled at each stage and 
his presence at the Palace will be of consequence as he has 
the honor to send sixteen members to Parl. I shall sus- 
pend an account of further observation till we see what turns 
up and content myself with continueing that on my way 
to this place from Whitehaven. I had the curiosity to sleep 
a night in the house I was born in, which I now found oc- 
cupied by a nephew of your old friend Major Wise, his 
attachment to America soon brought on an introduction 
and I was hospitably entertained he has a young wife; 
251bs. per annum and about 15 Ibs. more by keeping school. 
He is a clever fellow and deserves a better birth. I was sur- 
prised to hear that Miss Wise was married to so near a 
connection, as Mr. Baulk proves to be, her cousin. The 
parson (Mr. Littlewaite) would have been a better match 
without any illiberality of congugal sentiment I mention- 
ed him to you because I think he deserves a transplanta- 
tion in which perhaps you can be of service. He would suit 
the Cher aw church is humble tho independent, he has in- 
deed shown himself too much so in his choice of a wife 
whose birth and modesty will never promote her here. The 
story is singular and deserves to be related. The young 
parson had lodged sometime in a house where his wife was 
a servant. He noticed her prudence without the least sus- 



THE HARRINGTON LETTERS 13 

picion, the girl at last returned to her father who is a Col- 
lier, the next morning the parson took out a license and 
as a reward for her virtue and humility greatly surprised 
the girl and her father. 

The fire works alone cost his Lordship 600 Ibs. sterl. I 
think the Frolick must have cost as many thousands. 

P. S. As soon as time and opportunity permit I will en- 
deavor to answer you with some observations on my tour 
thro' England. 
(Gen. W. H. Harrington.) 



1 This letter, written from Lowther, England, appeared in the Harring- 
ton collection of letters as they came into the editor's hands. It was with- 
out address and signature, the second sheet upon which the remainder or 
the letter was written having been lost. Nevertheless the editor be- 
lieves it to have been addressed to General Harrington and written by a 
relative or friend, resident in Carolina, but on a visit to English relatives. 
The subject is interesting in that it reflects a view of the Centenary Celebra- 
tion of the Revolution of 1688 and on this account it has been inserted. 

2 James (Lowther), by royal patent, May 24th 1784, created a peer of 
Great Britain, by the titles of Baron Lowther, of Lowther, in the County of 
Westmoreland, Baron of the Barony of Kendal, in the said county, and Baron 
of the Barony of Burgh, in the County of Cumberland : Viscount of Lonsdale, 
in the County of Westmoreland, and county palatine of Lancaster, and Viscount 
of Lowther, in the County of Westmoreland : and Earl of Lonsdale, in the 
County of Westmoreland. On October 10th, 1797, his Lordship was created Bar- 
on and Viscount Lowther, of Whitehaven, with a collateral remainder to the 
heirs male of the body of his cousin, the Rev. Sir William Lowther, of Smll- 
lington, Bart. Earl Lonsdale died may 24th, 1802. 

3 Sir William Lowther, son of Rev. Sir William Lowther, of Smilling- 
ton, succeeded to the title of the Earl of Lonsdale in 1802 upon the death 
of his cousin, James, first Earl of Lonsdale. 

4 George III exhibited the first signs of mental disorder in 1765 but soon 
recovered his usual robust health, and not again until October 1788 did there 
appear unmistakable signs of a recurrence. "The immediate cause," says 
Lecky (England in the XVIII Centv 



xjctB.^ v^iigiauu m LUC ^.i it Century, Vol. V. p. 96) "appears to have been 
the injudicious treatment of a severe bilious attack, excessive exercise, and im- 
prudence in keeping on wet stockings during an entire day." It was this 
illness of the King that gave rise to rumors of his death as that of the 
above letter. He lived to 1820, having reigned for 60 years, through one 
of the stormiest periods of English history. 



CHARLESTON.. June 11, 1789 
DEAR FRIEND : 

I am extremely obliged to you for your polite favor of 
the 25th ult, and particularly so for the attention you have 
shown by writing to your Moravian friend on my account. 
His answer satisfies me that such accommodations as I 
should expect are not to be got at Salem; nevertheless I 
am not the less obliged to you and him. 

It is with pleasure that I hear always of our good friend's 
health at Constitution Hill. Be obliging enough to remem- 
ber me to him. 



14 JAMES SPRUNT HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS 

The Postman from Cheraw delivered me jour letter yes- 
terday afternoon and sets off again today at 12, so that I 
have no opportunity of inquiring about the gins for cot- 
ton: between however the present moment and the next trip 
(which will be next month) of Brown the Cheraw Rider, who 
I shall desire to call on me, I will endeavor to find out 
which is the most advantageous machine and communicate 
the intelligence to you. 

In the meantime I am, D. Sir, with respect your 

Obt. Hum. Svt., 

J. F. GRIMKE. 1 

To Henry Wm. Harrington, Esq. 



1 John Faucheraud Grimke, Jurist, b. In South Carolina, Dec. 16, 1752 ; 
d. Aug. 9, 1819, in Long Branch, N. J. ; fought through the Revolution as 
Lieutenant Colonel of Artillery. He studied law in London and was one 
of the Americans there who petitioned George III against the measures which 
infringed on colonial rights. Returned home at the beginning of hostili- 
ties ; elected Judge of the Superior Court of South Carolina, 1783. In 1799 
he became Senior Associate and thus virtually Chief Justice. He was fre- 
quently a member of the State legislature ; Speaker of the House 1785-86 and 
a member of the S. C. Convention that adopted the Fed. Const, in 1788. He 
was given the degree of L. L. D. by Princeton in 1789. He published "Re- 
vised Edition of the Laws of S. C. to 1789 ;" "Law of Executors of S. C. ;" 
"Probate Directory ;" "Public Law of S. C. ;" and "Duty of Justices of the 
Peace." 



3 Sept., 1789. 
DEAR SIR: 

I received yours by Toney 1 with the enclosed paper, and 
will pay due attention to the matter. I was very sick and 
not up at our election 2 , but am informed that Mr. Thos. 
Wade 3 went for the Senate, agreeable to my wish. Mr. 
Pleasant May 4 and Wm. Wood 5 for the Commons the 
first of which is also agreeable to my desire, and the other 
I care not much about. The Conventioners I am told for our 
county are Spencer 6 , Wade, May, Gilbert 7 , and Jamison 7 , 
among whom I have reason to believe there is different senti- 
ment about the constitution, though I fear the majority will 
be against it, but am not absolutely confident in my opinion 
about them as I was not there. 

Toney informs us you were all well yesterday, which we 
are happy to hear and as for our family they have gone 
through the rubbers in the ague and fever way this sea- 



THE HARRINGTON LETTERS 15 

son, but seem all to be rather on the mend at present Our 
little Charley and Harry are the lowest in health of any of 
us and appear to be at a stand in their sickness, Betsy, my- 
self and Sher'd are getting the better of it, and our little 
girls mend slowly. 

I don't remember any news worth communicating. 
Am Dear Sir with respect and affection, 

Yours, 
JOHN 
Henry Wm. Harrison, Esq. 



1 Toney was a favorite and trusted slave of General Harrington and 
had been his body servant throughout the War of Revolution. He was a 
negro of remarkable character, honest and faithful in the highest degree. 
He was the father of Cuffee who was the subject of the suit between Lieu- 
tenant Campbell and General Harrington. General Harrington purchased 
Toney in 1771 from John Mitchell, a Tory residing near Cheraw, S. C., and 
who sold out and left the country when partizan feeling developed incident 
to the opening of hostilities. After the Revolution General Harrington sent 
Toney on horseback from Peedee to Newbern, N. C., with a bag of 1,500 
Spanish silver dollars to pay for a land purchase. The money was duly 
delivered. 

2 Election for the General Assembly. 

3 Thomas Wade, native of Anson County, a member of the Constitutional 
Convention at Fayetteville in 1789. He was senator from Anson in 1782, 
1783, 1786, 1789, 1791. 

4 Pleasant May, native of Anson, member of the Constitutional Conven- 
tion that ratified the United States Constitution at Fayetteville in November, 
1789 ; also elected to the State legislature (Commons) In 1788, 1789, 1792, 
1793. 1794, 1795. 

5 William Wood, of Anson, member of House of Commons from 1786 to 
1794 with exception of 1788. 

8 Honorable Samuel Spencer, Esq., native of Anson, and member of both 
the Hillsborough and Fayetteville Constitutional Conventions (1788 and 1789). 
Previous to these services Spencer had been member of the first Provincial 
Congress (Newbern. 1774) of North Carolina, and of the second Provincial 
Congress (Hillsborough, 1775). He was also made Colonel of Militia in 
the military organization set up by the second Congress, and at the same 
time became a member of the Provincial Council of Safety. In 1777 Spencer 
was elected by the General Assembly as judge of the Superior Court and 
served until his death in 1794. He was an ardent anti-federalist in the 
Hillsborough Convention, took a most active part in the debates on tne 
Constitution, and contributed very materially to its defeat by that body. 

'Jesse Gilbert and David Jameson, both elected to the Constitutional 
Convention at Fayetteville, 1789. Q . 

8 John Auld, member from Anson in the Commons in 1783 and 1784 , 
member of the State Senate in 1788. Auld was brother to Mrs. W. H. tiar- 
rlngton. 

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 10, 1791. 
SIR: 

I have heretofore written frequently to you on account of 
Mrs. Caroline Goldsborough 1 of Dorchester County in Mary- 
land, who is the sister of your lady. Her anxiety to hear 
from her mother and sister, has induced me to trouble you 
once more. She has had no letters, or any other intelligence 



16 JAMES SPRUNT HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS 

for more than two years, and is now under painful appre- 
hensions that they are dead or have totally forgotten her. 
To remove her inquietude, I must entreat you to write her 
by the first opportunity. 

If you enclose your letters to me, they will be safely for- 
warded to Mrs. Goldsborough. 

I am sir, your Hbl. Svt., 

JOHN HENRY. 2 
Col. Harrington, 

North Carolina. 



Mrs. Goldsborough, mother of Charles W. Goldsborough and sister of 
W. H. Harrington (See footnote " 
2 See footnote No. 2 letter No. 2. 



Mrs. W. H. Harrington (See footnote No. 1 letter No. 2). 



CAMDEN, April 21, 1Y92. 
DEAR SIR: 

I find that on the last day of the last session of the Leg- 
islature, that the sitting of the court of equity at Columbia 
was postponed till the fifteenth of May. You will therefore 
have no occasion to be there before the 14th. I hope you 
have not had the tremendous freshes which have deluged 
the whole country adjoining the Congree and Wateree. 
Corn will be very dear for considerable quantities of that 
article are destroyed and a great deal of indigo here is dam- 
aged which will occasion that article also to be scarce and 
consequently dear. 

I remain with sincere regards and esteem, 

Very truly, 

CHARLES COTESWORTH PINCKNEY. 
Brig d Gen 1 Harrington. 



July 2, 1798. 
State of North Carolina, 

Richmond County. 

We the inhabitants of the town of Rockingham convened 
together to take into consideration and point out some suit- 
able person to represent the county aforesaid in the Senate 



THE HARRINGTON LETTERS 17 

at the next General Assembly to be held for the State afore- 
said, give it as our opinion that Henry Win. Harrington, 
Esq., be nominated as candidate for that purpose and that 
Walter Leak, John Clark, and James Terry be a committee 
to draw up an address inviting him to accept thereof should 
he obtain the suffrage of the freeholders of the county afore- 
said. 



Signed by: 
JAMES TEKRT 
LEWIS LAWYER 
IND. BOWNDS 
JOHN LONG 


TEDDY NOBINGTON 
WM. EOBARDS 
JOHN COPE 
JAMES SMITH 


WM. ROBINGSON 
MICAJ. GAINY 
WALTER LEAK 
IND. CROWSON 



BOWEN CAREY BENJAMIN" STEATEY 



1 General Harrington became the candidate for the State Senate in this 
year, 1798, and was elected, this being his last public service as far as 
the editor can discover. He was an ardent Federalist in politics. 



Perhaps there never was a time when the County of Rich- 
mond stood more in need of the Exerting of Public Spirit 
than the present, since the Horrows of War were over. 
The fewer we have of real Patriots the greater will be the 
praise if any benefit be done to Society or any danger avert- 
ed from us. When our Rights and Liberties were invaded we 
had our Cincinnatus in Richmond, when now again our po- 
litical Character is insulted we apply to his advice tho' in 
times of peace and Tranquility There is such a thing as a 
Negative as well as a Positive Virtue It is in the power of 
the magistrates of Richmond to deny the office of High 
Sheriff to that indigent vain fellow of the Feudal Tribe who 
is now so importunate This denial may be the happy means 
of preventing a greater impending evil in our Political Sys- 
tem. It will give a check to the Popularity of his Party 
and we are well aware to which side of the House his In- 
terest and Popularity would incline. 

Our Eminent danger from the votes of an ignorant dram- 



18 JAMES SPBTJNT HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS 

Drinking Rabble May Heaven and your Worships prevent 
Such is the fervent prayer of 

LIBERTY AND EQUALITY. 1 
Genl. H. W. Harrington. 



1 This was an address to Gen. Harrington, apparently accompanying the 
appeal of his fellow citizens to stand for the Senate in 1798, in vhich elec- 
tion his prestige was expected to rescue his county from the control of the 
Republicans. 



RALEIGH, Dec. 20th, 1800. 
DEAR SIR: 

Your favor of July 24th with the bags of wheat and barley 
seed never reached me till October. Receive for them my 
very best thanks. They have been sown sometime, but later 
than I wished. However, although the produce may be 
thereby lessened, yet the experiment will answer my pur- 
pose better as to ascertain(ity) the probability of its taking 
the Rust. If our Tide Swamp will produce that grain free 
from Rust I think the best farming we could go on, notwith- 
standing the great cry about cotton, would be to sow a crop 
of wheat and immediately after it is off put in corn. There 
would be no danger of exhausting our land if the opportu- 
nity was taken of letting on the water of the first fresh com- 
ing down from the Rich up County Lands and such freshes 
are frequent about the time of the Indian Corn very early in 
October. Cotton as far as my experience goes and from 
my correspondence with Mr. Kinlock will not answer well on 
our Tide Swamps and if the Corn etc. above mentioned can- 
not be carried into effect successfully, I suppose we had bet- 
ter continue on Rice. That article, if managed well, and the 
average prices of a few years continue, will do extremely 
well. Mr. Heyward has brought the growing it by water to 
such perfection that upward of twenty Tierces per hand had 
been made to upwards of forty hands round. 

But I am very much inclined to try Cotton and a state- 
ment of the increased value of the Exports of So. Carolina 
in a few years from 2 millions to 10, which, I suppose you 
have seen, increases that inclination as the increase evidently 



THE HARRINGTON LETTERS 19 

appears to have been greatly by the single article of cotton. 
Col. Wade Hampton, I understand, is the principal cotton 
planter of So. Carolina and that his crops are made from 
the low lands of Congaree or Wateree. If so, I suppose those 
of P. D. (Peedee?) will answer well and that you have from 
the great profit and your readiness to embrace every improve- 
ment gone largely on it. As I have on the low land of Cape 
Fear River a great deal of cleared high River Swamp I will 
thank you to give me every information on the subject, as 
without compliment I regard you as the first farmer in the 
State. At the same time please inform me whether you are 
inclined to contract for the delivery of from 1 to 2000 bu. 
of corn at Georgetown, the lowest price and earliest time of 
delivery, the sooner the better and if a post does not come 
regularly from your neighborhood to Fayetteville perhaps 
the most speedy conveyance would be by Georgetown whence 
the Post comes regularly every week to Wilmington set- 
ting off on Thursday or Friday from Georgetown. 

Hitherto, although it was constantly my intention to be 
more diligent, I have neglected to write you for the Saint 
( ?) seed, Siberian, annual and perennl Vetch, 

Smyrna wheat, winter oats, spelts & ( ?) which 

you ordered and also to give orders for some articles for my- 
self but immediately on my return home, having already 
taken means to place money in New York I will write for 
them and on receipt will endeavor to convey some of each 
to you. Early in February I propose passing Georgetown 
on my way to Charlestown and if the articles arrive and be 
not too bulky shall carry and leave them for you in that 
place and there with great pleasure will reciprocate your 
farming presents. The Timothy Beans I expect will be an ob- 
ject, they turned out extremely well but unless your black- 
eyed peas are better I could send you some superior. Per- 
haps yours and mine are in fact the same sort, for those you 
sent me as observed by you were somewhat damaged. So in- 
deed was the white wheat a little, not materially, but it ap- 



20 JAMES SPRUNT HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS 

peared somewhat mouldy and weavil eaten. I wish the prop- 
er name by which to write for some to the northward. 

Your County Politicks according to custom has taken up 
much of our time & Webb 2 , or Wall 3 not appearing to es- 
tablish their charge against M'farland, 4 he will be trium- 
phant. The House appeared well disposed to oust him, but 
the witness brought was too hesitating and not sufficiently 
positive. A bill has passed to compel witnesses to give evi- 
dence, which I understand from Mr. Wall will secure M'far- 
land's banishment in future. We have done but little good 
and a great deal of harm the particulars of which you will 
soon know by the return of your members and the public 
prints, to them I must refer you & hoping for a speedy reply 
Remain Dr. Sir with Regard and Esteem 

Yrs. Respectfully 

BENJ. SMITH. 

P. S. I came up late in the session and thus escaped the 
mortification of witnessing much political violence and pas- 
sion. 
General Harrington, 

Beausejour, 

Richmond County, 

No. Carolina. 

I wrote last night by Post to New York for the Spelt, 
Vetch and all the other seed mentioned. 



1 Benjamin Smith was a large planter; his home at Belvidere, Bruns- 
wick County. A member of the House of Commons of the State In 1791, 
he was elected to tne State Senate In 1792 and served continuously therein 
until 1801, and again from 1804 to 1810, at which date he was elected 
Governor of the State. In his youth he had served in the war of the Revo- 
lution as an aid to General Washington, and later fought in the Southern 
struggle against British invasion. For his military services he was award- 
ed a large tract of bounty lands in western Tennessee. He was a member 
of the board of trustees to whom was granted the charter of the Univer- 
sity in 1789 and at the first meeting of the board, Nov. 15th, 1790, he 
transferred to the incipient University a patent for twenty thousand acres 
of his Tennessee lands, thus becoming the first benefactor of the institution. 
Certain of the proceeds of this gift later were devoted to the construction 
of a building at the University named in his honor (Smith Hall), now used 
by the Law School. Governor Smith died in Smithville, N. C., Feb. 10th, 1829. 

2 Robert Webb, member of Commons from Richmond County from 1780 
to 1787, and of the Senate 1788 to 1790 and again in 1796 and 1797. 

'William Wall, Senator from Richmond 1794. 

4 Duncan McFarland, member of House, 1792, and in the Senate 1793, 
1795, 1800, 1807-09. McFarland also represented his district in Congress, 
1805 1807, the 9th Congress. 



THE HARRINGTON LETTERS 21 

RALEIGH,, April. 
DEAR SIR: 

I write 1 this to return you many thanks for your kind- 
ness in sending to me the waggon load of cotton seed which 
got safe to my hand a few days after leaving your house and 
to express my great disappointment in not having been hon- 
ored with any more of your favors since your first and only 
one. Being favored with your message by the Waggoner that 
you intended writing me by Post to this place, leaves on my 
mind a belief that you have done so, and a fear that thro' 
some misfortune or other it has not reached me: Letters to 
and from me miscarry so frequently through the post offices, 
especially on the Crop Posts, that it would be gratifying to 
discover where the Fraud is practiced; the offices between 
Raleigh and your place being few I indulge a hope it may be 
traced in this particular if you have written more than one 
letter to me and you can recollect the date and time your 
letter was put into the Post Office. 

I have directed my overseer to pitch my crop of cotton 
entirely in hills four feet equidistant, believing with you 
that it will be the safest crop for a beginner and I have hopes 
ere this that two-thirds of his crop is planted. 

Can you account for the fall of cotton in Fayetteville for 
I understand the market abroad continues especially good ? 

Hoping before long to have the pleasure to hear from you 
I remain with respect and great Esteem, Your Svt., 

B. WILLIAMS. 
Genl. Henry Wm. Harrington, 

Beausejour, 

near Rockingham, 
Richmond County, 

!N~. Carolina. 
Via Fayetteville. 



1 This letter is undated but appears to have been written by Benjamin 
Williams during his encumbency as governor, perhaps in 1800. "Williams, 
a native of Moore County and a large planler, was elected Governor of 
the State first in Nov., 1799 and by annual election at the hands of the legisla- 
ture served three successive terms and was again governor *n 1808. lie 
was State Senator in 1807 and 1809. He served one term in Congress, the 
third Congress, Dec. 2, 1793, to March 3, 1795, and was a republican in 



22 JAMES SPKUNT HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS 

politics. He was born Jan. 1, 1752, was a revolutionary patriot and fought In 
the battle of Guilford Court House, Mar. 15, 1781. He gained the rank of 
colonel for his gallant service, having entered it as captain. He was a 
plain man, of small pretensions, simple, modest, and of irreproachable char- 
acter. He died in Moore County in 1814. 



RALEIGH, June 16, 1801. 
DEAR GEN'L: 

Your much esteemed favor of 13th ulto. came to hand a 
few days past, as well as that which you mention to have 
written sometime ago. 

My cotton was planted early in April and had not come 
up as it was injured by the late frosts, but the weather has 
since been so extremely cold that it has not grown much. It 
however now begins to make a more favorable appearance 
and I have hopes it will improve fast: no doubt the frost 
having destroyed the first and the second planting of cot- 
ton southwardly will very much lessen the crop in that quar- 
ter, thereby enhancing in value that which may be made. 
This however affords us an unpleasant prospect for extend- 
ing our cotton crop in future, if the price is to be govern- 
ed by the quantity made. I had indulged the belief that the 
larger the quantity the better the price would be, inasmuch 
as it would become an object for strangers to apply at our 
markets with certainty of being supplied. I am very much 
pleased with the prospect of this new gin you mention an- 
swering my purpose for the present better than what the 
others may. I shall rely on your goodness to give me as 
early information respecting it as your health will permit, 
which ere this may be re-established is the sincerest wish 
of yours with great regard and esteem 

B. WILLIAMS 1 

General Henry W. Harrington, 

near Rockingham, Richmond County, 
!NT. Carolina. 



Written in the second year of his service as governor. 



THE HARRINGTON LETTERS 23 

RALEIGH, July 10, 1802. 
MY DEAR GEN., 

Long have I intended to write you in answer to your 
obliged favor of last year and let you know how my crop of 
cotton turned out, but owing to being late in getting it clean- 
ed since which too the pressure of official duties has occa- 
sioned delay. 

I planted by actual measurement 42 acres, almost half of 
which was very good land, the other half but indifferent, 
tended in the way and agreeably to the instructions (with 
which ?) you have so obligingly favored me, say 4 feet equi- 
distant etc. After all the perloining of my own negroes and 
robberies of my neighbors 3,200 pounds of cotton was 
made and I think without prejudice is equal to any up- 
land cotton, for there wasn't 100 Ibs. yellow or faulty cot- 
ton among it. This I think is to be ascribed to the excel- 
lent season of last year, for as far as I am able to form an 
/opinion it was perhaps a better season than usual. Indeed 
I recollect no unfavorable time during the growing of the 
crop except a short drought about the filling up of the 
cotton, and certainly it was such as admitted of all cot- 
'ton not too late planted maturing itself; in this your ob- 
servations respecting the planting early so as to gain sea- 
son has been manifested important, for in 10 acres of my 
crop, I am confident, could it have had the advantage of 
10 or 15 days more season would have yielded abundantly 
more than what it did, much of it being overtaken with 
frost. Upon the whole I am of the opinion take one year 
with another could we obtain 18 cents for cotten it would 
be the best crop for us to make. I have shipped what little 
I madeTto London and notwithstanding the unfavorable 
accounts from there for some time back; that since the 
Treaty of Amiens 1 and general peace, trade will resume its 
proper station and that we shall yet find a tolerable market 
in Europe for Cotton. 

This year I have planted near 200 acres generally better 
land than the last but have been so occupied at home as not 



24 JAMES SPRUNT HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS 

to have it in mj power to visit mj Plantation since the 
crop has been planted; my overseer however writes favor- 
ably. 

So far I have taken the liberty of acquainting you with 
what more particularly concerns myself, you will in return 
very much oblige me by referring to your present year's 
cropping. I flatter myself you may have made some fresh 
discovery in the culture of cotton that may be useful. Rus- 
sell's Gins we have found fully coming up to your description 
and it is my intention to apply for another this summer 
should none superior be invented. Lately I saw a Paragraph 
in the Public print of S. C. setting forth that a man of 
that state had made considerable improvement on the patent 
Gins. If you have information in that regard I shall thank 
you to communicate it me with instructions how to apply for 
one. 

With my sincerest wishes for the health and happiness 
of you and yours, I remain, Dr. Sir, with much Esteem, 

Yours, 
Gen'l Harrington. B. WILLIAMS. 



1 The Treaty of Amiens was signed March 1802, being the first lull In 
hostilities between England and France since 1793. Williams was disap- 
pointed in his expectations as to its influence on American trade in that 
Napoleon again forced war upon England in 1804 which continued until the 
downfall of the Corsican in 1814, during which period American trade suffer- 
ed its greatest restrictions in consequence of English and French oppres- 
sion and our Own government's several embargo acts. 



MY DEAR AUNT/ 

A long, very long, silence has prevailed between us. 
What has been the cause? Doubtless I am to blame, tho 
I wrote to you the last. I offer to you, my dear Aunt, my 
sympathy and condolence in the afflicting bereavements 
which you have experienced Gen. Harrington 2 and your 
son-in-law are, I am told, no more. They are gone to a 
better world, where corrupt-ability puts on incorruptability 
and man disenchained from his worldly passions, finds in 
the bosom of his Redeemer a happiness in duration eternal, 
in bounds without limit, a happiness beyond the conception 



THE HARRINGTON LETTERS 25 

of the most vivid imagination. Let us then weep for the 
illustrious dead, not because they are taken from us to re- 
ceive their crown of glory but because they no longer live to 
guide our steps and to display to us the bright examples of 
virtue. 

It is I believe, more than two years since I have either 
heard from you or written to you, though my inquiries about 
you have been frequent and earnest. Mr. McBride 3 your 
representative has frequently given to me information re- 
specting you and the family. I lately met with Mr. Satter- 
white 4 who appears to be an acquaintance of James 5 and 
who informed me that he had already heard from James who 
it appears has united himself to a lady of fine accomplish- 
ments and good fortune and has a promising heir. All this, 
my dear Aunt, must afford you great happiness and tend 
to alleviate the afflictions which have befallen you. Mr. 
Satterwhite described James to be a gentleman of polite, 
engaging manners, strong and cultivated mind, and to have 
a heart a perfect stranger to all guile. I trust this de- 
scription of my cousin is drawn to the life. 

Although young in years and in constitution I feel as if 
I were an old man, having now four children who occupy 
almost all my leisure. My great anxiety is to educate them 
correctly ; and their progress in learning is highly flattering 
to a parent's pride. Two of them Charles and John, are yet 
too wild or too young to learn, but Caroline and Louis have 
been to school for more than a year. They both read, spell, 
and recite admirably; and Caroline in addition writes a 
beautiful hand, tambours and dances extremely well. Al- 
most all my evenings are spent with them. They of course 
every evening learn something new and in their improve- 
ment consists one of my highest gratifications. Another 
blessing for which I cannot be too thankful, they have all 
fine constitutions and enjoy uninterrupted good health. 

My dear mother 6 was well the last time I heard from her 
which was almost ten days since. She desired to be most 
affectionately remembered to you and that I ask you to 
write to her. 



26 JAMES SPRUNT HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS 

May I ask you, my dear Aunt, to write to me, and 
give me particular account of yourself and of all the mem- 
bers of your family, in whose happiness I cannot but feel 
deeply interested. Can I ask you, with any hopes of suc- 
cess, to pay us a visit? Could not Jamea and his lady 
accompany you ? Traveling you know improves our health 
and might benefit yours. We have a snug little cottage, 
large enough though to hold you all in comfort and I really 
think you will be pleased with our city. We could all go 
over to Cambridge together where my dear mother would re- 
joice to see us. Think seriously of this trip, and determine 
to take it. Catherine has been taught to esteem and re- 
spect you. Come and give her an opportunity of loving you. 
Your affectionate nephew, 

CHAS. W. GOLDSBOROUGH. 
Washington, Feb. 12, 1811. 

P. S. Write to me under an envelope directed to the Secretary 
of the Navy. 
Mrs. Rosanna Harrington. 

*Many of the following letters were addressed by Charles Washington 
Goldborough to his Aunt, Mrs. H. W. Harrington, widow of General Har- 
rington and mother of Midshipman H. W. Harrington. They prove him 
to have been a man of fine fibre and courtly character, representing the 
Revolutionary type of American gentleman with English traditions of life 
and conduct. He was the son of Robert Goldsborough of Cambridge, 
Maryland, and was born in that town, April 18, 1779, died in Wash- 
ington, D. C., Sept. 14, 1843. He was the first clerk of the Bureau of Pro- 
visions and Clothing of the United States Navy and Chief Clerk of the Naval 
Department from 1798 to 1812 under Secretaries Benjamin Stoddart, Robt. 
Smith, and Paul Hamilton. Prom 1841 until separate naval bureaus were 
established he was Secretary of the Naval Board. He is the author of 
"The U. S. Naval Chronicle," and an unpublished "History of the American 
Navy." He was a Federalist in politics. 

2 General Harrington died March 31st, 1809. 

3 Archibald McBryde, of Moore County, N. C., member of Congress 1809 
to 1811 and 1811 to 1813, and in the State Senate in 1813 and 1814. He 
was a Republican in politics. 

* No information about Mr. Satterwhite was available to the editor. 

5 James A. Harrington, elder son of Mrs. H. W. Harrington, member of 
House of Commons in 1808 

8 Mrs. Caroline Goldsborough, of Cambridge, Dorchester County, Mary- 
land, sister of Mrs. H. W. Harrington. 



MY DEAR AUNT,, 

I duly received your last letter and sincerely thank you 
for it because of the real pleasure it has afforded me. I 
intended to have replied to it in extenso (as our diplomatists 
would say) that is at full length, but time has not permit- 



THE HARRINGTON LETTERS 27 

ted. I will then defer that pleasure for some time and con- 
fine myself now to objects more immediately interesting. 

'Your anxiety, my dear aunt, about the education of your 
children, cannot be too highly commended happy children 
to have such a mother ! 

We have no seminary of learning immediately in this 
neighborhood, that I would recommend. My inquiries have 
been very particular at St. John's. There the system of 
education particularly as it respects morals, is extremely 
defective, and there are so many beautiful young girls there, 
that the attention of the students is very much diverted from 
their studies. At Charlotte Hall 2 about thirty miles from 
this, I do not approve of the teachers. At the college in 
George Town 3 , their catholic habits would I presume be an 
objection with you, and I rather think that it would be a 
reasonable objection. This much for all the colleges and 
seminaries of learning in the neighborhood of the metro- 
polis of our country. However there is a college at Carlisle 4 
that I would recommend, as well for its system of education, 
its discipline, and its situation. As for the cheapness of liv- 
ing, etc., I do not believe it to be inferior in any respect 
to Yale among other things it is very healthy. Now my 
dear Aunt, should you choose to send my cousin to Carlisle, 
it will be in my power and it will be very agreeable to me, 
to pay attention to him. I will procure him such letters 
as will secure to him an agreeable reception into the best 
society and every accommodation necessary to his com- 
fort. If you should still determine to send him to Yale, 
let him not pass us the sight of any member of your family 
would afford me great happiness. 

Since I last wrote to you, we have lost my brother Rob- 
ert 5 one of the best hearted men that ever lived. Mother 
has been over and recently returned. Her health is very 
good. She desired me to remember her to you in the most 
affectionate terms and to express her great anxiety to see 
you. I am in great haste, 

Your affectionate nephew, 
Wash. Aug. 15, 1811 CHAS. W. GOLDSBOROUGH. 



28 JAMES SPRUNT HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS 

1 This letter to Mrs. Harrington is evidently in reply to one from Mrs. 
Harrington respecting her plans for the education of her youngest son, 
Henry, who later received an appointment, through Goldsborough's influence, 
as midshipman in the American Navy and fought in the war of 1812 upon 
the U. S. Frigate "United States." 

2 Charlotte Hall, in the northern part of St. Mary's County, Maryland, 
a state academy founded in 1774. 

8 Now Georgetown University, founded in 1799, by members of the 
Roman Catholic church, and was in 1805 transferred to the Jesuit Society in 
Maryland, in whose control it remained. 

* Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, chartered by the legislature 
of Pennsylvania, Sept. 9, 1783. Established on what was then practically 
the frontier, Dickinson was the first college founded to meet the needs of 
the population of the new West. It received a liberal donation from John 
Dickinson, author of the famous "Letters from a Pennsylvania Farmer," one 
time governor of Pennsylvania and most influential in the moulding of our 
Constitution in 1787. 

5 Elder brother of Charles W. Goldsborough and named for his father. 



MY DEAR AUNT : 

I have just received your letter of the 22nd ult. Should 
it be your choice to send my cousin Henry to college, surely 
he will not object, since it is his advantage only you can 
have in view ; and he must admit that you are far the most 
competent judge as to the propriety of the measure. The 
advantages of a liberal education are inestimable. He na- 
turally must wish to become a useful and valuable member 
of society. Let him then pursue his classical studies. Let 
him afford to himself a fair opportunity of gratifying his 
honorable ambition by improving and enlarging his mind. 
But what, my dear Aunt, is the bent of his genius ? If law, 
physic, or divinity, then it must be indespensably necessary 
for him to prosecute his studies if mercantile pursuits 
should be preferred by him, then he must procure a situation 
in one of our most respectable mercantile houses if a sol- 
dier or a sailor's life should be agreeable to him, he has ar- 
rived at an age to commence his career he is now a good 
age for a cadet in the army, or a midshipman in the Navy 
as to the situation of a clerk under the Government, let 
him I entreat you never think of it but with a determina- 
tion never to become one. I speak with experience when I 
assure you that though I have one of the best situations of 
this sort under the Government, yet if I had never entered 
the service, I should I am persuaded have been worth tens 
of thousands where now I am worth hundreds when I was 
a lad, about the age of my cousin Henry, my worthy, revered, 



THE HAKKINGTON LETTEKS 29 

departed friend and patron, Governor Henry, 1 told me that 
he would procure me a situation as clerk but that I must 
not remain longer than six or eight months in such employ, 
and then assigned reasons which my own experience has 
abundantly confirmed. For years have I felt my error in 
continuing; yet, owing to some unaccountable infatuation 
possibly a degree of indolence which is foreign to my nature, 
and the persuasions of those with whom I have had the hap- 
piness of acting, I have contrary to my own judgment re- 
mained, and now I consider myself from long habit a 
kind of fixture. 2 

With respect to Carlisle college, the reputation of the 
teachers, for learning, piety and diligence, is very high no 
religion is taught The professors are mostly of the Protes- 
tant Episcopal 3 church The expenses of board and tuition 
are about $200 I believe indeed precisely $200 his cloth- 
ing would not cost him more there than at home The ha- 
bits of the college are remarkably economical and the mo- 
rals of the collegiates are guarded with parental care. 
Henry you say is not in good health: then Carlisle is the 
very place for him to go to. The mountain air would soon 
brace him up and invigorate his constitution. 

Should he determine to select the mercantile business, it 
will, I believe, be in my power, as soon as our commerce 
shall be on a safe footing, to procure him such a position as 
I should wish to see him in He would have to pay his own 
board etc., till of age The expenses in Phila. or in Balto. 
or Xew York, in either of which places I believe I could 
procure him a situation would be from $500 to $600 annual- 
ly It is, be assured,, as necessary for a young man to serve 
a regular apprenticeship to the Mercantile business, to be- 
come a respectable intelligent merchant as it is for one de- 
stined to the bar, physics, or divinity, to go through a regu- 
lar course of studies in either of those professions. 

Should he determine for the army, I think the appoint- 
ment of a cadet can be obtained for him or should be choose 
an appointment in the corps of marines (which I think pre- 



30 JAMES SPRUNT HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS 

ferable to the army) I think I could obtain for him the 
commissipn of a second lieutenant If he should prefer the 
navy, I could get him a midshipman's warrant 4 . Now, my 
dear Aunt, do you and my cousin Henry determine what 
is to be done and command my services without the least 
reserve. 

I thought that you knew of the death of my brother 
Hawes, who died between five and six years since. John, 
Horace, and myself, are all the children left of my father 
and mother. John, who is the most perfect character I ever 
knew, lives in Easton, and is in very extensive practice as 
a lawyer his circumstances easy. Horace is now with my 
mother poor fellow, he has a failing which we have some 
hopes he will recover from: though many attribute it to 
his personal deformity. My poor brother Robert was not 
happily married about three years before his death he 
was divorced his child lives with my mother. My brother 
Hawes left four children, Francis, Robert, Charles, and 
Carolina : all promising their mother, one of the finest wo- 
men I ever knew lives in Delaware Tho' she spends much 
of her time with my mother brother John has four John 
Elizabeth Henrietta and I do not know the name of 
the youngest tho' believe Henry. 

Yes, my children shall know your name, and be taught to 
esteem and love you. 

Yr. affect, nephew, 

CH. W. GoLDSBOROUGH, 

Wasn't. Aug. 30, 1811. 
Mrs. Rosanna Harrington. 



1 Governor John Henry, of Maryland, a note on whom appears with 
letter No. 2. 

2 Goldsborough was chief clerk of the navy department for fourteen years, 
retiring in 1812, when partizan politics finally made his position uncomfort- 
able upon the outbreak of war with England. In political principles he was 
a strong Federalist. 

3 Dickinson College was controlled by this denomination, though its use- 
fulness and the healthful situation commended it to the legislature of 
Pennsylvania and it often received a state appropriation as a maintenance 
fund. 

4 Between the date of this and the succeeding letter young Harrington 
must have expressed his preference for naval service rather than any of the 
alternatives. He received his midshipman's warrant Dec. 17, 1811, and after 
a short period of instruction in navigation was assigned to service upon the 
Frigate United States commanded by Stephen Decatur. 



THE HARRINGTON LETTERS 31 

NAVY DEPT., 20 Dec., 1811. 
SIR: 

You will report yourself to Dod Hunter at the Navy 
Yard here, who will instruct you in the theory of navigation. 

Respectfully yours, 

PAUL HAMILTON 1 . 

Midshipman H. Y. W. Harrington 
Presents 



1 Paul Hamilton, b. Oct. 16, 1762, St. Paul's Parish, S. C., d. June 30th, 
1816, in Beaufort, S. C. He was Comptroller of South Carolina from 1799 
to 1804 ; was governor of South Carolina 1804-1806 ; was Secretary of the 
United States Navy from 1809 to 1813, being appointed oy Madison In his 
first cabinet. 



MY DEAR AUNT: 

I have just received yours by Mr. Mitchell. 

Do not suffer yourself, my dear Aunt, to entertain any 
fears about my cousin Henry. He is, without flattery, one 
of the most moral correct young men I ever knew and he 
is much pleased with his profession. Dod Hunter, under 
whom he is now learning navigation, called on me a few 
days since for the purpose of expressing his very favorable 
opinion in relation to Henry and frequently called him a 
fine, very fine, young man. 

As soon as he shall have completed his studies with Dod 
Hunter, he will be attached to the frigate United States com- 
manded by my particular friend Commander Decatur, 1 to 
whom I shall write by Henry, and who, be assured, will pay 
attention to him Henry must however go first to the E. 
Shore 2 Mother says she will be grievously offended if he 
does not He is quite well. In great haste, 

I am, my dear Mother, 

Yr. aff. nephew, 

CH. W. GoLDSBOROUGH. 

Feb. 19, 1812. 
Mrs. Eosanna Harrington, 
Fayetteville, N. C. 



1 Stephen Decatur, b. Jan. 15, 1779, in Sinnepuxent, Maryland, appointed 
a midshipman in 1798 ; in 1799 was promoted to a lieutenancy. In 1802 
he commanded the Norfolk and Enterprise in the war against the Bey of 



32 JAMES SPRUNT HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS 

Tripoli. He made the most brilliant naval record of all our officers in the 
war against the Barbary States. In 1808 he was a member of the court 
martial that tried Commodore James Barron for surrendering the Chesapeake 
to the British. In the war of 1812 he was in command of the Southern 
Squadron with the Frigate United States as his flag ship. At the opening 
of hostilities he encountered and captured the British Frigate Macedonia. 
In 1814 he was transferred to the "President" as Flagship and the command 
of a second squadron and performed those brilliant services that has rend- 
ered the naval record of the United States the most brilliant, perhaps, in 
our naval annals. In 1820 he was challenged to a duel by Commodore 
James Barron and in the encounter which followed Decatur was mortally 
wounded and a few hours later, March 22, 1820, died. His death provoked 
profound sorrow throughout the nation. 

2 Cambridge, the home of Goldsborough's mother, is In Dorchester County, 
Eastern Shore of Maryland. 



MY DEAR SIR: 

Allow me to introduce to your acquaintance Mr. H. Y. 1 
W. Harrington, a young gentleman whom you will find 
worthy of your esteem and kind attentions. He is the son 
of the late Gen 1 . Harrington of !N". C. and my cousin, possess- 
ed of a handsome patrimony, he has entered our naval ser- 
vice from motives which will I trust conduct him in time 
to distinction. He is diffident and amiable and may re- 
quire advice. Will you exercise toward him a paternal part, 
so far as to give him your advice when he may require it? 
In doing so, you will greatly oblige him, and me. 
I am, with very great esteem. 

Yrs. truly, 

C. W. GoLDSBOROUGH. 

Theo. Armistead 2 , Esq., Wash. 3 March 1812. 

Norfolk, Virg. 



1 Harrington soon dropped the "Y" out of his name and thereafter wrote 
and received all correspondence as H. W. Harrington. 

2 One of five brothers of an old Virginia family who fought in the war of 
1812. One of these brothers, Col. Lewis Armistead, led the forlorn hope and 
was killed in the assault on Fort Erie, in the war of 1812, and another, 
Col. George Armistead, commanded Fort McIIenry, guarding the approach 
to Baltimore, and succeeded in driving away the British fleet on the occa- 
sion when Francis Key wrote the national song, "The Star Spangled Banner." 
A nephew, Gen. Lewis A. Armistead, led in the heroic charge of Pickett's 
division at Gettysburg, which for brilliancy and daring will rank in history 
with McDonald's charge at Wagram, the charge of the Old Guard at Water- 
loo, and of the "light brigade" at Balaklava. 



MY DEAR AUNT : 

I wrote to you a few days since informing you of the 
character which Dod Hunter gives my cousin Henry, which 
will I trust afford you much consolation for his offence. 



THE HARRINGTON LETTERS 33 

Henry has been ordered to the frigate United States, 
Commanded by Commander Decatur, now at Norfolk on 
his way thither he intended calling at Cambridge to see my 
mother and remain with her about a week. He will then 
proceed on to Norfolk. I have given him letters of introduc- 
tion to Commander Decatur, Lieut. Allen 1 and Mids n . Ham- 
ilton, all of the frigate U. States and to Thee. Armistead 
esquire, one of the most estimable men ever born. I have 
asked Mr. Armistead to give Henry his kind advice when- 
ever necessary. Henry will find in him particularly, a friend 
In the others also he will find friends. Lt. Allen (1st 
Lieut, of the ship) is one of the very best officers in our navy 
and perfectly the exemplary gentlemen Mid's n . Hamil- 
ton 2 is a remarkable fine elegant young man Henry and 
himself will I hope become very intimate friends. 

I am, my dear Aunt, 

Yr. affec. nephew, 

CH. W. GOLDSBOROTJGH. 

Was'K Mar. 8, 1812. 
Mrs. Rosanna Harrington, 
Fayetteville, K C. 



1 William Henry Allen, b. in Providence, R. I., Oct. 21, 1784; d. Aug. 
15th, 1813. He entered the navy as midshipman, April 28th, 1800, was 3rd 
lieutenant of the "Chesapeake" when she struck her colors to the British 
frigate "Leopard" in 1807, and drew up the letter of the officers to the 
secretary of the navy urging the trial of Capt. James Barron for neglect 
of duty. He became 1st lieutenant of the frigate "United States" in 1809, 
and gained distinction in the action with the "Macedonia," Oct. 25th, 1812. 
In 1813 he was made commander of the "Argus" and on the 14th of August 
fought the British vessel "Pelican" In which contest he was mortally wound- ' 
ed and his vessel captured. 

2 Archibald Hamilton, midshipman. May 18, 1809, Lieutenant, July 24th, 
1813. Killed in action, January 15, 1815. Son of Paul Hamilton, Secretary 
of the United States Navy. 



FLAGSHIP-FRIGATE PRESIDENT AT SEA, July 19th 1812. 
DEAR HARRINGTON: 

How do you do ? Have you been well since you left 
Washington and how do you like the sea, etc. Does salt beef 
and pork agree with your stomach ? I have spent a very 
agreeable time of it since I left Washington, but I must con- 
fess I had rather be there than on board. I was at Hampton 



34 JAMES SPRUNT HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS 

and saw Wilson Jones whom you may remember seeing at 
W sn . Pray let me know whether you have heard from any 
of our old cronies at Washington; I saw Atwood 1 in New 
York, on my way to Newport. I spent four days in Philadel- 
phia and four in the former city. Do come on board in the 
next boat if you possibly can, I wish to talk over our old 
affairs with you. 

I have been very well since I saw you last, except two 
or three days sea sickness &c. 

With sentiments of respect and esteem I have the honor 
to be your friend and well wisher. 

WM. BELT 2 U. S. K 
Midship" H. W. Harrington, 
Frigate U. States. 



1 M. C. Atwood, Midshipman, Dec. 17, 1810. Purser, March 26, 1814. 
Died May 12, 1823. 

2 Wm. J. Belt, Midshipman, Sept. 1st, 1811, Lieutenant March 3rd, 1817. 
Commander Feb. 9, 1837. Dismissed Nov. 2, 1842. 



MY DEAR AUNT: 

I have received your letter of the 1st inst. Its contents 
give me great concern. You say that Henry must return to 
you; and, if I did not think that he would be an ornament 
to his profession; that the chance of his becoming distin- 
guished in any other would be very slender and that it 
would render him very unhappy to abandon the navy I 
should concur with you in the wish you have expressed. You 
say you cannot act the part of a Roman mother Now my 
dear Aunt pardon my frankness This expression was used 
in a moment of weakness, and it was but a moment, for in 
another expression used by you I find even the Spartan 
mother, "for he must not be disgraced." 

I will not undertake to say that Henry cannot retire with- 
out actual disgrace, but of one thing I am persuaded and that 
is, that if he were to retire now he would feel very sensibly 
and his feelings would unfit him for a long time to come, 
for any other valuable profession ; and attached as he is to 



THE HARRINGTON LETTERS 35 

the Navy, lie would never be happy in resigning under exist- 
ing circumstances. 

He is now in a situation where he will acquire reputa- 
tion which must have a tendency to wean still more his affec- 
tions from the shore. He cannot be expected to return short- 
ly. The time of his return, is, indeed, very uncertain. Five 
ships are cruising together, he is on board of one of them, and 
one of the best and we know not where they are ; but we en- 
tertain no doubt of their safe return into Port. Henry will 
then let you know how he likes the service, upon stating to 
you his actual experience, he will have it in his power to re- 
move most of your objections to his continuing in the service, 
if not all of them. You know, I suppose, his dislike to a farm- 
er's life. He has much of the heroic ardor of his father. Do 
not, my dear Aunt, allow your fears (which are natural and 
certainly not unaimable) to suppress the growth of the prom- 
ising plant. If he prefers remaining in the service, check 
not his disposition or you may destroy his usefulness. All 
agree with me in the opinions I have expressed. My solici- 
tude for his continuing in the Navy arises solely from my 
persuasion that he will prove an ornament to it, that he will 
acquire a reputation, and in that way contribute to the hap- 
piness of mother, his country and his friends. 

Among others I mentioned the subject to my Catherine 1 
who has all the tender feeling of the most anxious mother. 
I consulted with her, her reply was "He cannot resign now 
and if he were my child I should say remain." 

If contrary to my expectation Henry should express a. 
wish to resign then I assure you I will do my best to get 
him out of the service in the most honorable way. 2 
In great haste, I am, my dear Aunt, 

Your affc. nephew, 

Aug. 10, 1812. C. W. GOLDSBOROTJGH. 

'Mrs. Rosanna Harrington. 



1 Catherine, wife of Charles W. Goldsborough. 

2 This letter was evidently in repl; 
Jsborough expressing her maternal 1 
i at this time off on a cruise under 

ing in the engagements of the squadron. 



2 This letter was evidently in reply to one from Mrs. Harrington to 
Goldsborough expressing her maternal fear for the safety of her son who 
was at this time off on a cruise under Commodore Decatur and participat- 



36 JAMES SPRUNT HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS 

SHIP-PRESIDENT AT SEA 
DEAR HARRINGTON : 

I shall accuse you of the want of that friendship and in- 
timacy which existed between us at Washington and which 
I hope will long continue, if you do not let me hear from you 
oftener than you have done. 

Your boat 1 has been long side of us very often since we 
came out, but you have never put yourself to the trouble to 
write to me moreover, to learn how I weathered out "Our 
Running Fight 2 ," It was to me and I rather expect to you 
also a novel thing and if I did not suppose you had learned the 
particulars I would give them to you However I hope we 
shall give some of them the thumps 3 before we get in and I 
rather think we hammered the rest of him the other day. 

It goes damn hard with me now as our stores have all given 
out and we are obliged to miss our salt Pork and Beef. I 
think I had rather be at Washington with old Mother Mc- 
Caudle. Pray how do you come on in the line of "Clean 
Shirts." If you are overstocked, I'll take them off your 
hand. They are in great demand here. 

I hope we shall all be rich when we get in port again. 4 
If we -can come across the Convoy We Yankees will be apt 
to astonish them Write by the next and every convenient 
opportunity and let me know how you come on. I hope we 
shall have a Frolic together in New York in the course of the 
summer Give my best respects to Mr. Hamilton and Jami- 
son. 5 

In haste, Yrs. with sincere esteem, 

WM. BELT, 
12 July 1812. 

Mr. Henry W. Harrington, 

Frigate United States at Sea, 
Mr. Howell. 



1 Young Harrington was upon the Frigate "United States," and his friend 
Belt upon the "President," the latter ship in a squadron composed of that 
and two others, the "Congress" and the "Wasp," commanded by Captain 
John Rodgers. 

2 Three days after the declaration of war in 1812 Captain Rodgers sailed 
in the "President" in command of a squadron to intercept the British West 
India fleet. On June 23, 1812 he met the British Frigate Belvidera which 



THE HARRINGTON LETTERS 37 

escaped after a running fight of eight hours. The Captain himself fires 
the first gun, the first shot in the war. 

3 High enthusiasm, typical of our naval forces in the war of 1812, 
accounts for the brilliancy of our achievements in the sea fighting of 1812- 
1813. The cruise of Rodgers and his squadron, after the Belvidera fight, 
continued a most brilliant record, making 23 prizes of British vessels dur- 
ing his command of the "President" and attendant ships. Applause and honor 
greeted his return to American shores. 

* This was in anticipation of the distribution of prize money from the 
sale of captured vessels. 

5 Wm. Jameson, b. in Virginia 1791, d. in Alexandria, Va., Oct. 7, 1873. 
He was appointed a midshipman from the District of Columbia in 1811. He 
received his commission of Lieutenant in 1817, Commander in 1837, and 
Captain in 1844. He adhered to the cause of the Union at the out- 
break of the Civil War and was commissioned Commodore July 16, 1862. 
He was subsequently invalided and remained on the retired list during the 
war. 



FRIGATE UNITED STATES, BOSTON, Sept. 1. 1812 
DEAR MOTHER i 1 

In haste I inform you that we arrived in this port 
yesterday after a cruize of TO days. We have been so busily 
engaged since our arrival that I have found it utterly im- 
possible to write sooner and my chance even now is a bad 
one, I shall however spend a day or two on shore shortly 
I shall then have an opportunity of writing to you and the 
rest of my friends. 

The last letter I received from home was dated 2 of May 
not having heard from Carolina since that time I am of 
course anxious to know how you are all coming on. I should 
like to know whether you succeeded in settling the Estate to 
your satisfaction and if our friends are doing well. In one 
word, I should like to have all the news. I expect to receive 
a letter from you before we sail from this place tho it is im- 
possible for me to say how long we shall remain here. 

If letters for me were enclosed to Mr. Goldsborough he 
could forward them on whenever this ship enters any port, 
for he will be informed of its arrival much sooner than it 
will be possible for letters to reach you. 

I must go on duty. 

H. W. HARRINGTON. 
Mrs. Eosanna Harrington, 

Fayetteville, K C. 



1 This is the first letter from Midshipman W. H. Harrington to his 
mother that appears in the collection. It was written after Decatur's cruise 
in command of the "United States" and the "Argus." Decatur's vessels re- 
mained in the port of Boston, Mr.ss., from September 1st, 1812, until early In 
October, when it set off on a cruise toward the Azores. 



446400 



38 JAMES SPRUNT HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS 

FAYETTEVILLE, Sept. 1812. 
O MY DEAR HENRY, 

Must you sail again before mother sees you ? And per- 
haps before she can even write to tell you how much your 
friends want to see you, and how gratified your poor mother, 
aunt, and sisters were only by learning that you were in 
Boston, more than a thousand miles from them ! ! ! I wrote 
to you immediately after the rect. of yours from Norfolk of 
the tenth of June, but you must have sailed before my letter 
could have reached that place. In that letter I wrote you 
that your dear good brother 1 had lost his youngest child, his 
dear little Rosanna ! You know what a tender father he is, 
Poor fellow ! he was greatly afflicted. Your sister Troy 2 and 
her three children were with us two or three weeks ago in 
good health and all even the little Rosanna 3 anxious to hear 
from you. Your sister says that she has not received a line 
from you since you left home. I had a letter from your only 
brother 1 a few days ago, he says he shall never be happy 
until he sees you settled at home, and urges for you to come 
and take charge of your estate the next winter. In answer 
to your question about the settling of the estate, I can only 
say that I hope to get through at last; but the present dull 
price of "produce" will I fear make the negroes hire for very 
little and the lands will rent in proportion, but though this 
is a heavy drawback and there are yet a few heavy debts to 
pay there is but one that is urgent (John McFarland 4 who 
has sued on a bond) and we have funds provided, that will 
be collected before he obtains a judgment, that I have no fear 
of being obliged to sell any of the negroes for that, or any 
other debts, unless times grow more desperate than at present. 

You may suppose that after being so long ignorant of 
your fate, we were all eager for the first news of the squad. 
Yesterday morning as we were at breakfast, your mother 
about half way through with her first cup of tea, Miss Win- 
slow (Lucy Ann) entered, and told us with her eyes sparkling 
that "Uncle Belden sent her to tell us that Com d Roger's 
squad n had arrived safe at Boston." This put an end to 
mother's tea drinking at that time, and so completely choked 



THE HARKINGTON LETTERS 39 

Aunt Eliza 5 that I believe she was scarcely able to eat all day 
afterwards. Harry hugged Lucy Ann, and Caroline 6 and 
Henry Ayer 7 jumped about "like mad" with joy. This 
morning as we had just begun breakfast again, James Alves 
came in with your letter ! He had been at the postoffice and 
hoping he said to be the bearer of good news inquired for 
letters for us. The arrival of your letter more completely 
put an end to this breakfast than the last ; so that we have to 
charge you with the loss of two breakfasts; I could scarcely 
forbear hugging Alves myself. Poor Harriet 8 burst into 
tears and was for sometime unable to refrain from sobbing 
Caroline was much affected too and Aunt E's throat again 
choked up; all the negroes came up to ask about "Master 
Henry" and some of them shed tears ! 

Your other two aunts 9 and many of our friends came in 
an hour or two to congratulate us and inquire after you. The 
general question is, "When will he come home?" I wish 
I had the power of answering this question with certainty. 
I think it must be next winter, by the first of January at 
farthest and as much sooner as can be with propriety. 

We are again in the house that we first came to in Fay- 
etteville. The brick castle did not please us or rather the 
situation of it was disagreeable. The house and lot where 
we now are we all think much more pleasant, and as our 
family is now as small as you wish it (only Aunt E. and 
two little fices) the house does well enough. I would give 
you the news of the town if I could, but it generally passes 
my ear without fixing on my memory. There is no great 
alteration in Fayetteville since you left it. As soon as it 
was known that your letter was rec d and that you were cer- 
tainly safe-landed, a number of your old comrades to wit 
John McRae, John Wright, James Alves, Wm. Tillinghast 
and others whom I forget, met together and made a large 
bowl of punch, to drink to the success of the young midship- 
man. Harriet says that this compliment must have been 
payed to you for her sake but you know better. In Wades- 
boro, everybody almost, have become canting Methodists. 



40 JAMES SPRUNT HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS 

The Miss Jacksons exhort and pray publicly Miss Wade, 
pilgrim-like, walks half a dozen miles on foot to meeting, 
Mrs. Jackson too. Hannah Robinson and her little sister ten 
years old fancy themselves converted and make much to do 
about it. And Sherwood Auld's wife has caught the infection 
to the no small mortification of her husband. The once cheer- 
ful little Wadesborough has become the dullest spot upon the 
globe. We impatiently wait for a long letter from you giving 
us the journal of your travels describing the different places 
you have been at 'the prizes the squadron has taken &c. &c. 
You must have materials now, to fill a volume unless like 
Prince Leboo new scenes crowded upon you so fast that, you 
could not remember all your knots; however, as you have the 
use of pen and ink this could not be the case. How did you 
feel when you first heard the guns of the President and the 
Belvidera ? I make no doubt that you were anxious to be 
nearer and to have a share in the action, but did no thoughts 
of home of mama come across your mind. Finish your 
career my dear son as soon as you can with propriety and 
come home, that we may all be together the small balance of 
time that your mother has to stay here. 

Harriet has just rec d a letter from Eliza Sibley from 
Nashville on the way to her father with Henry and an elder 
brother. She makes kind inquiries after you. Your Sisters 
and Aunts all unite in love to you and in wishing you soon to 
return home. 

That heaven will protect you from every ill is the daily 
prayer of Your affectionate mother, 

T> i *n o R" HARRINGTON. 

Received 27th Sept. 

Henry William Harrington 
Midshipman on board 

the frigate United States. 



1 James Auld Harrington. 

2 Mrs. Robert Troy (nee Rosanna Harrington), eldest child of General 
Harrington. 

8 Rosanna Troy, daughter of Robt. Troy and Rosanna Harrington Troy, 
was born at Beausejour, the old Harrington homestead In Richmond County, 
Oct. 14, 1806 and married John Gough Lance, physician of Cheraw, Feb. 12, 
1824. 



THE HARRINGTON LETTERS 41 

4 Farmer of Richmond County, member of the House of Commons from 
Richmond County, in 1805. 

6 Miss Elizabeth Auld, a maiden sister of Mrs. W. H. Harrington, resid- 
ing with her. 

8 Caroline, youngest daughter of General and Mrs. W. H. Harrington, 
later married to Otho Chambers, a man of good estate, resident in Rowan 
County. 

7 Son of Mrs. Harrington's sister, a Mrs. Ayer, who was left early 
a widow and later married to Col. Blakeney of South Carolina. 

8 Harriet, second daughter of Gen. and Mrs. W. H. Harrington, born at 
Beausejour, 1790, married Bela Wm. Strong, a lawyer from N. Y. who 
settled in Troy, Montgomery County. Her husband was killed in a 
duel with another attorney named Holmes, his brother-in-law, former mid- 
shipman W. H. Harrington, acting as his second. As a result of this loss 
Mrs. Strong lost her reason for a time, but eventually recovered and lived 
to a ripe old age in Wadesboro. 

9 There were four of the Auld sisters, Mrs. Harrington, Mrs. Ayer, and 
Miss Nancy and Miss Betsy, the latter two never married. 

10 Mrs. Harrington had moved from her country estate, Beausejour, to 
Fayetteville for the benefit of the schools for her children, but later returned 
to her plantation home in Richmond County, and still later to Wadesboro, 
Anson County, where she resided at the date of her death, Oct. 13, 1828. 



BOSTON, 15 Sept., 1812. 
DEAR MOTHER: 

It has been now more than four months since I have 
heard from any of my friends. I of course wait impatiently 
for letters from home. My last (informing you of our ar- 
rival here) ought to be in Fayetteville by this time; if so 
I may expect in 10 or 15 days to hear how you all are and 
to get the Carolina news. We are making some repairs which 
I think will detain us here near a month although the com- 
mander says we shall sail in less than a fortnight. Our move- 
ments however never keep way with his reckoning. Our 1st 
Lieutenant left this place today for Providence, R. I., he is to 
return to the ship before we sail. This circumstance together 
with the repairs before us convince me that we shall be here 
longer than the Commander says we shall. At any rate let- 
ters directed to this place from Fayetteville within ten days 
will arrive before we sail. 

I have thought seriously for sometime past of joining the 
Army and have determined to do so if I can get such an ap- 
pointment as I wish. I think that many and much greater 
opportunities for distinguishing themselves will be afforded 
to young men of the Army in Canada among the Indians and 
before and upon the walls of Quebec than those of the Navy 
can expect. I wrote to Mr. Goldsborough on the subject a 



42 JAMES SPKUNT HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS 

few days since requesting him to make some inquiries with 
respect to vacancies etc. I shall depend on him to manage 
things for me at Washington and on receiving his anwer I 
shall be able to inform you whether I am to become soldier or 
remain sailor. I wrote to you on the day we sailed from 
New York on the last cruize expecting to send the letter on 
shore by our Pilot who had actually got in a boat to return 
when it was determined to take him the round with us He 
remained on board and I accordingly missed sending my 
letter. I mention this lest you should think I neglected to 
write when I had an opportunity. I have written to none of 
my Carolina friends or acquaintances since our arrival, this 
is not from a want of inclination. I have no time now which 
I can call my own, 'tis the States', do tell them so and make 
every necessary apology for my apparent neglect. I want to 
know what you all intend doing with yourselves whether 
you have any idea of returning to Peedee 1 whether Brother 2 
is making or has made preparations for removing to ~No. Ca. 
What has become of our boys (Cousins Tawney and Wiggins) 
who ought to be fighting characters these days ? Faun's large 
head would stand a glorious chance among the cannon balls. 
Remember to all friends. 

H. W. HARRINGTON. 

Tell Mrs. Fletcher not to mind altho- she has not been 
"called" as particularly as usual won't do to regard trifles 
these war times. 16th Sept, 1812. 
Mrs. Rosanna Harrington 
Fayetteville, K C. 



1 This is In reference to a possible return of the Harrington family to 
Beausejour, on Peedee River, in Richmond County. 

2 James Auld Harrington married Eleanor Wilson, daughter of Governor 
John Lyde Wilson of South Carolina and was living in that State at the 
time of this letter. Gov. Wilson was a prominent lawyer living at this 
date in Georgetown, South Carolina. He was elected governor in 1822 and 
served a two year term. A member of the Nullification Convention of 1832, 
he advocated the most violent of the measures that were proposed then and 
durinar the session of 1833. In 1838 he published a "Code of Honor," which 
he affirmed was the means of saving life, but which seems to have been 
intended rather to regulate duels, in several of which he took part. 



THE HARRINGTON LETTERS 43 

BOSTON, Oct. 4, 1812. 
DEAR MOTHER: 

I received yours of the 13 September on the 2 7th. It 
gave me pleasure to hear that my friends were well and that 
(while beating about on the Ocean) I am not entirely forgot- 
ten by them. I am glad to hear that you are no longer 
troubled with boarders and I really hope you are determined 
never more to be so. As my sentiments on this subject have 
always been known to you, you may suppose that I am much 
better satisfied with your situation now than when I left you. 
I could however wish that you were not so entirely destitute 
of a protector as you at present are, or that you had such a 
one as you would find in my brother, were you in that house 
on Peedee which I once had the pleasure of calling my home, 
and he on one of his plantations. In his last letter he says 
"As soon as I see a solution on the old capes I shall come up." 
We are now prepared for a three months cruize and expect 
to sail in a few days, so I am likely to eat my Christmas din- 
ner at sea (unless our Commander should give us some re- 
pairing jobs before that time) instead of in the camp ; for I 
have not heard a syllable from Mr. G. yet. 1 A long cruize 
will considerably derange my plans for entering the Army 
such a one (short and successful) as the Constitution's last 
would just suit me, but should we run across to Europe, 
South America or India, and be gone 3, 6, or 12 months as 
we must be I shall have lost my chance in the Army. I have 
great hopes however of meeting with some of tneir cruisers 
before we leave our own coasts. 2 You have not mentioned 
Madette or Leonard in your letter if they are still in Fay- 
etteville and should ask after me, tell them I shall be glad at 
all times to receive letters from them. I hope that these 
young men will place themselves in active situations in which 
they may be of service to their country and do honor to them- 
selves for I think that they if no other of my acquaintances in 
Fayetteville have spirit of enterprise enough to do something 
during this War. I am now equally unable with yourself to 
answer the "general question" which my friends ask and can 



44 JAMES SPRUNT HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS 

only say that when the avowed objects of the war are obtained 
and peace shall succeed that I can with "propriety 7 ' return, 
I promise myself the pleasure of visiting my friends until 
then my services are my Country's. I hope that you will 
suffer no uneasiness on my account or permit any of my 
friends to do so The fortune of war is as changeable as the 
wind there is no possibility of knowing where duty may 
call or necessity drive us so long as we carry the compass in 
one hand and the Quadrant in the other, fear not our safe 
return. 

Oct. 5th. I could not conclude this scrawl last night. 
While writing was so tormented by my jovial shipmates that 
I scarcely know what I have written. I have however 
now as little time to apologize for the defects of my letter as 
I have to overhaul it or commence another We are now get- 
ting ready to unmoor ship and if the wind was fair should 
probably sail today; I make no doubt we shall be off early 
in the morning I shall detain this letter until then. 

Oct. 6. Today we drop down to IsTantucket Roads (about 
9 miles from here) and expect to sail tomorrow or in a very 
few days. Remember me to friends. 

H. W. HARRINGTON. 
Mrs. Ros a Harrington 

Fayetteville, K C. 



1 Young Harrington had written after his first cruise to Charles W. 
Goldsborough respecting a transfer from the navy to the army, being evident- 
ly moved by the restlessness of youth to take part in the campaigns then 
preparing against Canada. The next cruise of Decatur, however, seems to 
have satisfied his thirst for adventure : Likewise Goldsborough's reply must 
have discouraged the plan of transfer, since we hear no more of it upon 
his subsequent return to port in shattered health. 

2 On the 8th October, 1812, Commodore Decatur sailed from Nantucket 
cruising toward the Azores, where on the 25th his flagsh'p, the "UnHed 
States" (upon which Midshipman Harrington sewed I fell in with the 
British frigate Macedonia, Captain John Surnam Cardue, who instantly 
made chase. But Decatur had no intention of escaping, and the action was 
short and decisive. In ninety minutes the United States had shot away the 
mizzen-mast of the Macedonian, had dismantled two of her maindeck guna 
and all but two of the carronades on the engaged side, had killed forty- 
three and wounded sixty-one of the crew, had put one hundred shot in 
her hull, and made her a prize. On the United States twelve men were kill- 
ed or wounded. The prize was brought into New London by early December, 
adding another to the long list of our sea captures of the year. 



THE HARRINGTON LETTERS 45 

DEAR HARRINGTON: 

I take this opportunity to enclose you that which your 
present situation must necessarily require. 1 

With best wishes for your recovery, 

Your sincere friend, 

D. TAYLOR. 2 

Frigate TJ. S. Dec. 11, 1812. 
Mid sn W. Harrington 

Forwarded by Mr. Timberlake. 



1 The frigate United States returned to port at New London the 7th 
of December. Midshipman Harrington, in the last weeks of the cruise had 
Buffered an impairment of his health which confined him somewhat more 
than a month at New London. 

2 Dnsromier Taylor, Midshipman, 16 January, 1809, Lieutenant, 24 July, 
1813. Died at sea 5 October, 1819. He served upon the frigate United 
States in company with Harrington in 1812 and was in the Macedonia fight. 



LONDON, Conn., Jan. 11, 1813. 
DEAR MOTHER: 

I have just received your letter without date. The mail 
closes in five minutes. I therefore have barely time to say 
that I am recovering my health faster than I could expect. 
I now walk about all through the house and should -walk all 
over the town were it not for the inclemency of the weather 
which is very severe here at present. I shall commence my 
journey 1 to the southward as soon as I think my health suffi- 
ciently recovered. I will write from New Haven or New 
York to let you know that I am on the way. 

In haste, 

HENRY W. HARRINGTON. 
Mrs. Eos a Harrington 

Fayetteville, N. C. 



1 Midshipman Harrington procured a leave as a result of Impaired 
health and set out the 27th of January southward to visit his mother 
in North Carolina. Arrived in Fayetteville he soon was persuaded to assume 
the management of his estate and charge of his mother's interests, and in 
consequence resigned his commission the 12th April, 1813. However, since 
the war was not yet over he remained for some time unsett'ed in his pur- 
poses and plans, but eventually, despite an early distaste for agriculture, 
settled to the life of a southern planter upon his home estate. 



46 JAMES SPRTJNT HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS 

DEAR HENRY : 

I wrote to you soon after the arrival of the U. States 
but by some fatality I have just found that the letter was 
never put in the post office In that letter I congratulated 
you for the share you were so fortunate as to have in the vic- 
tory over the Macedonia and asked you what were your wishes 
as to continuing in the Navy. By letter just received from 
Aunt Harrington, I have heard for the first time that you 
were left unwell at N. London. By this time I hope you are 
restored to health. If not, and I can in any way whatever 
serve you command me freely: or whether you have or not 
recovered Aunt appears very uneasy about you, and ex- 
tremely anxious that you should go to North Carolina. 
Should you wish this considering your late ill health, there 
will not I apprehend be any difficulty in procuring you the 
indulgence. When there you can make up your mind whether 
to remain in the service or not. 

Mrs. G. and the children unite with me in best wishes 
and regards for you. 

Yr. friend, 

C. W. GrOLDSBOROUGH. 

Mr. H. W. Harrington Wash 11 22 Jan., 1813. 

Mids n Crew U. S. 

N. London, Ct. 



HAVEN, Conn., Jan. 28, 1813. 
DEAR MOTHER: 

I have just arrived here from New London which place 
I left last evening. Tomorrow or next day I go to New 
York where I expect to remain 10 days or a fortnight. My 
journey will thence be continued on southward so that I think 
about 7 weeks from this time you may expect me in Fay- 
etteville. 

Should you see brother tell him to be prepared for me, 
that I almost think already that I can see the fox amoving 1 
and although he is 7 or 800 miles ahead of me, unless he 



THE HARRINGTON LETTERS 47 

runs a good race he will find me in the course of two months 
close at his heels. 

Affectionately your son, 

H. W. HARRINGTON. 

29th. John Eccles and John Lord found me in a short 
time after I arrived here. Should their friends inquire after 
them you can inform them that they are well. 
29 Jany. 

H. H. 
Mrs. Ros a Harrington 

Fayetteville, N. C. 



1 After retiring from the naval service and taking up the management 
of the old Harrington homestead, Beausejour, on the Peedee, in Richmond 
County, young Harrington became a typical Southern planter of large 
estate. He loved the chase and kept a kennel of thirty or forty fox hounds. 
In the season he drew about him large hunting parties from among his 
friends and entertained them lavishly during a week's hunt. He carefully 
protected the game upon the large estate. Engaged in the culture of cotton, 
he owned about three hundred slaves, and devoted himself exclusively to 
agricultural interests with the exception of two terms service to his county 
in the state legislature as member of the Commons (1816 and 1817). As 
a result of disappointment in a youthful love affair Harrington never mar- 
ried, perhaps also being influenced to a general disinclination for society 
by the part he played in the duel of his brother-in-law, Belah Strong, and 
his sister's subsequent loss of reason. See supra 



MY DEAR AUNT : 

You will at length I hope have the happiness of seeing 
your worthy son Henry my cousin, and although he has been 
in battle, and subsequently been sick, you will I think find 
him just as "safe and sound" as when he left you indeed I 
think improved in appearance. He seems bent on continuing 
in the Navy, however he defers a definitive determination 
upon that important point until he shall have an opportunity 
of consulting with you. I can only say that in my opinion 
he would make a figure in the Navy. 

Poor Horace, 1 after many years of affliction, died a short 
time since My mother tho' well, is in much distress in con- 
sequence of this bereavement. I have not heard from her 
direct since it took place : but brother John has written. All 
our other friends are well. 

I have had so much writing to do of late that really I 
have no taste or relish for writing even to you. My little 



48 JAMES SPRUNT HISTORICAL, PUBLICATIONS 

daughter has opened a correspondence with her cousin and 
namesake who must answer her letter by first opportunity: 
otherwise my little Jade, 3 who is somewhat punctillious, 
would be much hurt. She made two errors in her Epistle. 
It is however her first attempt. I would not suffer her to 
write another by way of slight punishment. Next time 
she will spell better. Make excuses for her. Remember, 
she is barely 9 years old. Kitty 4 joins me in affection and 
regards. 

Yr. affec. nephew, 

Wash , Feby. 11, 1813. CH. W. GOLDSBOROUGH. 

Mrs. Ros. Harrington, 

Fayetteville, 
Mr. H. W. Harrington. 



1 Horace Goldsborough, brother of Charles W. Goldsborough, an invalid 
who resided with his mother at Cambridge, Maryland. 

2 Fourth brother of C. W. Goldsborough, residing at Easton, Md., and 
in the practice of law ; at this writing the only surviving brother of the 
writer. 

3 Only daughter of Cnarles W. Goldsborough. Her name was Caroline, 
for his cousin, Caroline Harrington, youngest daughter of General and Mrs. 
W. H. Harrington. 

4 Catherine Goldsborough, wife of Charles W. Goldsborough. 



FRIDAY MORNING, 6tb Aug., 1813. 
DR. HENRY: 

We are deprived of the pleasure of visiting you today 
as promised, "by wars and rumors of wars 1 ." This day at 
ten o'clock a draft takes place in this Beet; and before this 
reaches you I expect to acquire a new character, that of a 
soldier. "A substitute, my kingdom for a substitute," will 
be my cry should I be drafted which is more than probable 
as 3-5 are required ; one half expected to march in less than 
a week to the seaboard of this State 2 which is supposed to be 
in danger of an invasion. The remainder to serve the TJ. 
States at a moment's warning. Come down instanter, yr. 
uncle 3 wants "the sinews of war, men and money." One 
man however would answer at present and you must assist 
in procuring him. You see I count with certainty on being 
drawn. 



THE HARRINGTON LETTERS 49 

We send the chair for Harriet and hope to see you both 
at dinner on Saturday. Make an effort of the kneepan now. 
I shall be on thorns from the moment I'm drafted until 
I get a substitute or find it impossible. Difficult I dis- 
cover it to be. Hence you will hasten down with all speed 
possible. Try to be here to breakfast. 

Your affect, brother, 

JAS. A. HARRINGTON. 

I must give any price for a substitute for my business 
in Anson court and county will not admit of my absence. 
Henry William Harrington, Eq r 
Mount Airy 4 
Alias Jones, 

Anson County. 
Dr. Jacobs. 



1 In 1813 the British government made unusual efforts to break the 
spirit of the Southern States which composed that part of the Union most 
determined in its support of the National administration in a vigorous war 
policy. Our small but heroic navy, overwhelmingly outnumbered by the 
British fleets, were now in large part bottled up in protected harbors and 
the British war office instituted an effective blockade of all the Southern 
coasts and threatened invasion at various points from the head of the 
Chesapeake to the mouth of the Mississippi. The national government was mak- 
ing strenuous efforts to provide men and money for adequate defense. Nor- 
folk had been attacked in June and Hampton burned and pillaged within 
the same month by Admiral Warren. He still remained in the Chesapeake 
terrorizing all its coasts, while Admiral Cockburn was scouring the Atlantic 
coasts as far south as Florida. The National Government, to meet the 
pressing need, contracted a new loan in the summer months of 1813 and 
set the draft law into operation to fill up the regiments that voluntary enlist- 
ments failed to supply. 

2 The writer of this letter was at this date living in South Carolina, 
at Cheraw, in Chesterfield County, just south of Richmond and Anson 
counties in North Carolina. He seems to have practiced his profession of 
law in both states. 

3 Evidently "Uncle Sam," the United States Government. 

* This place does not appear in the list of Anson County post offices 
at this date (1813). 



LONDON, August 10, 1813. 
DEAR SIR: 

This evening I was at your friend Capt. OtisV 
while enjoying myself with the good family a young gentle- 
man of your former order whom I had previously noticed 
in the public part of the House inquired in my hearing for 
a Mr. Legard, but on close examination of a letter he had 
in his hand it proved to be my name he mentioned the let- 



50 JAMES SPRUNT HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS 

ter was from a Mr. Harrington that was sick in this place last 
winter, who wished to be remembered to a Mr. Ledgard. I 
soon discovered myself to him, he let me peruse the part of the 
letter relating to me which furnished me with the most 
pleasant feelings as it called to mind the time that I rendered 
services to a stranger and in some measure performed part 
of the duty incumbent on every human being Mr. Taylor 2 
who had your letter I was much pleased with there was a 
nobleness attached to his person that insures friendship and 
commands respect. 'Tis late in the night (say 11 o'clock) 
and as I am but just discharged from being a soldier I have 
not rid myself of those lazy habits that I have contracted 
during one month campaign. As I am nodding for my pil- 
low I must conclude tomorrow. 
With esteem I am your friend, 

J. LEDGARD. 3 

Capt. Otis' s family wished to be remembered to you. 

Harrington, I really can't conclude yet, as I have some- 
thing of importance to communicate. Miss Sallie Wilson 
was married last Sunday at 2 o'clock P. M. to a Capt. John- 
ston 4 of Baltimore after a courtship of seven days, repre- 
sented as being vastly rich. When I think of you I think of 
the old Checker Board, the pretty girls that came to see you 
and old Mother Dickenson 5 . The town is evacuated in a 
manner since your old commander paid us a visit, no girls 
at all. I shall ever be happy in receiving a line from you. 
Taylor will tell you some little incidents as he was surround- 
ed by your old group of friends. This is wrote in haste. 
I hope you will be able to English it, at any rate you will 
know it is from your old friend who has made repeated in- 
quiries often on board the frigate. 

J. L. 

Henry William Harrington (Taylor says you rank as 
a justice). 
Henry William Harrington, 

Fayetteville, K C. 



THE HARRINGTON LETTERS 51 

1 Probably the keeper of a public house or inn at which Harrington 
resided while sick in New London. 

2 Dugomier Taylor, midshipman, former associate and friend of Har- 
rington on board the frigate United States. 

3 Ledgard's references would lead to the conclusion that he was in the 
naval service and there associated with Harrington ; but no record of his 
name appears in the Navy Register. If he was a soldier, he was not an 
officer, since his name does not appear in the Army register of officers. 

4 Probably Hezekiah Johnson, of the Army, born in Maryland, appoint- 
ed from Maryland as Captain of 1st infantry, 20, Jan., 1813. Disbanded 
June, 1815. Appointed Military Storekeeper, 26 Sept., 1821. Died 8 Sept., 
183T. 

6 Probably the attendant of Harrington during his illness at New London. 



WASHINGTON CITY, Aug. 20, 1813. 
DEAR DEAK HARRINGTON,, 

Your friendly letter directed to me at New London 
sufficiently explained that you were unacquainted with any 
circumstances relative to me since your absence in February ; 
a few days after your leaving New York, I received orders 
from Com. De. 1 to take charge of Schooner Ulysses employ- 
ed for the purpose of cruising to the South, to inform our 
vessels of the blocade of the Chesapeake. But the enemy 
were determined I should not succeed in my exertions for 
I was captured in less than 10 days by a 74 gun frigate 
After remaining with the enemy several days, was sent to 
Bermuda, and detained a prisoner of war for nearly three 
months, politely treated and had an opportunity of becom- 
ing better acquainted with the disposition of the enemy. I 
arrived a few weeks since in Providence, R. I., passed 
through New London, was received politely by the Com., 

settled my account with the ship and but first I 

must tell you of New London and your old friends. I 
found the Keepers on board, well and cheerful, showed them 
your letter which the purser handed to me; they all joined 
in wishes for your health and spirits. At the public house 
where you were sick, fell in, and became acquainted with 
your old friend Ledgard; did read him the post-script in 
your letter respecting him Presently after we were joined 
by the kind females who attended you when sick, mutual 
inquiries ensued respecting you. I assure you, never were 
my feelings more gratified. At the moment I repented of 
anything like neglect to a friend so dear. 



52 JAMES SPRUNT HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS 

I arrived at Washington, repaired to the Department; 
where my commission was presented to me 2 my feelings 
can be better conceived than described. Ledgard wrote to 
you from New London. You may hear from me again before I 
am ordered away, my exchange being not yet negotiated 
or possibly I may have the pleasure of seeing you here, as 
you contemplate the Military. But rest assured that whether 
here or there, I shall ever think you my esteemed friend. 

Yours unalterably, 
Mr. Henry Harrington, DUGOMIER TAYLOR. 

Fayetteville, N. C. 
Mail. 



1 Commander Stephen Decatur (see above). 

2 Dugomier Taylor, Commissioned Lieutenant, 24 July, 1813. Died at 
sea 5 Oct., 1819. 



GEORGETOWN,, Dis., COLUMBIA, 

Feb. 23rd, 1814. 
MY DEAR AUNT, 

I have received and thank you for your favor. About 
twelve months since I left the Navy department 1 , & since 
that time have had no connections with the Government. 
With the present incumbent 2 of that Department I have but 
slight acquaintance: and knowing me as he does to be a 
Federalist, and being himself a most violent Jacobin I can- 
not suppose that any representation from me would have any 
other than an injurious effect upon the just pretensions 3 
of my cousin. If he can approach the present secretary thro' 
some loud talking Jacobin 4 , he would succeed, particularly 
if he should be an Irish or French one Just from Ireland 
or France and a renegade the most choice of all. Should 
neither of these be at hand, Willis Allston 5 might answer. 
His not being a gentleman is a pretty good recommendation 
with William Jones, because in that particular they may 
shake hands, hail fellows, well met. 

I must incline to the opinion, my dear Aunt, that cousin 
Henry is not exactly cut out for a farmer. He expressed 
to me a great disinclination to that kind of life. Interpose 



THE HARRINGTON LETTERS 53 

not then to persuade him from pursuing that course which his 
own inclination would prompt; for he will not be happy in 
a contrary pursuit. The war I believe is approaching its 
end 6 . Such at least is the general impression here. In the 
event of peace, which may be expected in about five months, 
if cousin Henry has any disposition to go into the mer- 
cantile business I would recommend this place in preference 
to any other. And having made up my mind to take a 
partner in business (I am now a merchant) if he chooses 
I will join him, & and he may make his preparatory ar- 
rangements as early as he may please. Upon this point I 
should wish to hear early, that I may shape my course accord- 
ingly. 

My dear mother was well a few days since, and I trust 
in heaven continues so. My Catherine has just got out of a 
three months illness. I was at one time apprehensive of 
losing her, but she has been returned to me, Tho' her consti- 
tution has undergone a severe trial. About 6 months since 
we had another babe which we call Hugh Allen a sweet 
promising child. All my children are quite hearty. My 
Caroline has been for several days past talking of writing 
to her cousin, and she will do so in a few days and give her 
the fashionable news. 

I am very dear Aunt, 

Yr. affectionate nephew, 

CHAS. W. GOLDSBOROUGH. 
Mrs. Rosanna Harrington, 

Fayetteville, N. C. 



1 Charles W. Goldsborough resigned as chief clerk of the naval depart- 
ment in December 1812, which position he had occupied since 1708. 

2 William Jones, Secretary of the Navy from 12 Jan., 1803 to 7 Dec., 1814. 
Secretary Jones was born in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1760. He joined a volunteer 
company at the age of sixteen, and was present at the battles of Trenton 
and Princeton, afterwards he entered tne Continental naval service, and 
served gallantl-" under Com. Truxton on James River, when that ofBcer en- 
countered and beat off a British ship of superior force. In 1801 he was 
elected to Congress from Philadelphia as a Democrat and served one term. 
After his service as Secretary of the Navy 1813-14, he became president of 
the United States Bank after its recharter in 1816, and also collector of 
the port of Philadelphia. He died in Bethlehem, Pa., 5 rSept., 1831. 

3 Harrington yet retained some idea of a re-entry Into the naval service, 
though the plan never materialized. 

4 The Federalists acquiesced with much ill grace and party spleen In 
the Republican administration's conduct of the war of 1812, and even in 



54 JAMES SPKUNT HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS 

Its declaration. Partisan politics was especially bitter in 1814, culminating 
in the Hartford Convention as a Federalist protest and threat. 

5 Democratic Congressman from North Carolina 1803 to 1815 and 1825 
to 1831. During the war of 1812-15 with Great Britain, he was Chairman of 
the Ways and Means Committee of the house of representatives and partic- 
ularly obnoxious to the Federalists. 

6 Through the good offices of Russia, England and the United States had 
initiated tentative negotiations for peace in 1813, but it was not before 
August, 1814 that a meeting between American and British commissioners 
was first held, at Ghent, in Belgium. After long and tedious negotiations 
the commissioners signed a treaty on Curistmas Eve, 1814, though the news 
did not reach America until the middle of January, 1815. 



MY DEAR AUNT, 

It lias been a long time since I have heard from you or 
of you You have I hope been well The family also. My 
dear mother frequently enquires after you in the most affec- 
tionate terms her health has not been very good lately : tho' 
by the last accounts she was tolerably well having as few of 
the infirmities of age as any person I ever knew. She talks 
of visiting us this fall ; but I am afraid to flatter myself with 
the hope of her coming. 

How are you all my dear Aunt? Is Henry yet settled 
& has he taken to himself a partner ? I would write to him 
but do not know where he now is. Should he be with you, 
will you ask him to procure and forward to me as early as 
may be in his power, information upon the following points ? 

1st. Is there not an extensive tract of country on or near 
the Peedee, covered with valuable pine and cypress timber ? 

2nd. What is the quality of the timber the size in dia- 
meter and length, and how far from navigable water ? 

3rd. What is the quality of the soil, is it healthy or 
otherwise Is there good drinking water to be had ? 

4th. Could water be obtained by sinking wells upon 
the land generally ? What is the distance from Fayetteville 
or Lumberton? 

5th. To whom does the land belong, & on what terms 
could from 10,000 to 20,000 acres be purchased ? 

I make these inquiries understanding that there are 
extensive tracts of land now called Barrens, wholly unin- 
habited yet covered with very valuable pine and cypress 
timber near navigable water: that they are considered as 
of little value because the country does not afford water falls 



THE HARRINGTON LETTERS 55 

for saw mills and that in consequence they can be purchas- 
ed on very moderate terms. I wish the enquiries to be made 
without suffering it to be known, that any plan of cutting 
the timber and getting it to market is in contemplation. If 
the information I have received should prove well-founded, it 
is probable that I shall raise a company and have a steam 
power created which is far preferable to a water power 
this idea however we will keep to ourselves. In that case 
I shall come on for the purpose of examining the lands, 
timber etc., and should Henry feel disposed, he can take 
an interest in it. Please request his early attention to this 
subject. 

What an age of wonders ? But yesterday 1 Napolean was 
dethroned and banished to Elba and the Bourbons ascended 
the throne of their ancestors today Napolean returns, seizes 
the reins of Gov nt ., drives Louis before him, gets defeated 
in a great battle, abdicates & rumor now says he is "hanged" ! 
How many valuable lessons may kings and potentates draw 
from the history of this wonderful man ? 

I have been quite unwell for several days So much so 
that writing, generally a pleasure, is now quite irksome to me. 
Excuse, therefore, my dear Aunt, the brevity of this and 
with affectionate respects and best wishes to all my connec- 
tions, believe me 

Yr. affectionate nephew, 

Wash n ., Aug. 12, 1815. CH. W. GOLDSBOROUGH. 

Mrs. E. Harrington, 

Fayetteville, K C. 



1 Figurative. Napoleon abdicated the Imperial throne of France first 
on April 11, 1814 by a treaty with the allied powers at Fountainbleau. He 
retired to Elba 4 May. Escaping from Elba he landed nine months later 
(March 1st, 1815) on the French coast near Cannes and begun the his- 
tory of the "Hundred Days," culminating in Waterloo, a second abdication, 
and banishment to St. Helena. 



MY DEAR AUNT, 

Your letter of the 16 ult. reached me yesterday, & it was 
such a gratification to hear from you, after so long a silence, 
that I summoned my little flock to hear it read. I may truly 



56 JAMES SPKTJNT HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS 

say to you that they are grateful for those passages in which 
you so kindly remember them ; & all expressed great anxiety 
to take a trip to North Carolina. Their sympathy for 
Cousin Harriet's deplorable loss 1 was manifested by their 
tears. Gracious heaven ! What must she have suffered what 
must she still suffer ? Ah ! cruel, tyrannical custom, that often 
dooms the votary of honor to involuntary error and prema- 
ture death ! When will this woe-breeding practice be abolish- 
ed ? Would to God I possessed the power of arresting it. 

For the last ten days I have had and still have an af- 
flicted family my dear Catherine is confined to her bed 
with one of those terrible nervous headaches which baffles 
all medical skill blisters are at length recommended, and 
God grant they may afford ease my son John, and my little 
boy Hugh Allen are also unwell, tho' neither I hope seriously. 
Caroline, young as she is, is her mother's best nurse. She 
is all assiduity and tenderness, & cannot suffer herself to 
go to school while her mother remains sick. She has just 
informed me, that as soon as she shall be relieved from at- 
tending the sick bed of her mother, she will revive the 
correspondence with her cousin Louis goes to school near 
us, and is progressing in his studies as rapid (ly) as I 
could wish. Charles is with his grandmother, who gives 
me flattering accounts of him. 

I have not heard from my dear mother 2 for the last 
six weeks, & feel quite uneasy about her: tho' I hope if she 
were seriously unwell, that I should be sent for. She can- 
not now write with as much facility as she used to do. Her 
advanced age has brought infirmities of the body with it; 
but her superior mind retains all its charm. I often think, 
my dear Aunt, that my lot, in being separated from those I 
love so dearly is a cruel one; but imperious necessity com- 
pels submission, and I yield without a murmor tho' not with- 
out regret. 

So long a time elapsed between the date of my last let- 
ter to you and my receiving your reply, that I had almost 
despaired of hearing from you I had been making arrange- 



THE HABBINGTON LETTEBS 57 

ments which would have put it out of power to go to North 
Carolina for a considerable time. These arrangements 
have not however been matured ; but a few days will enable 
us to decide. In the meantime I beg the favor of you to 
inform me as early as possible, how much of the timbered 
land in question you have 3 , and whether you wish the whole 
amount of the purchase money paid imnmii&tely. And if 
not, at what period or periods. The machinery and other 
preparations necessary to establish a steam power for sawing 
to advantage, are so expensive, that we are obliged to econo- 
mize our resources. In six months after the machinery 
should be in operation, we could pay you with perfect con- 
venience as it would cut 10,000 feet per day. And it is 
presumed that profits upon the plank cut in that period 
would greatly exceed the cost of the land. 

There are other points upon which Cousin Wm. Henry 
will oblige me by giving me information viz ; 1st. Are there 
any good boat-builders near or on the Peedee? 2nd. Can 
good laborers be had, and on what terms? 3rd. Are there 
any good wagon-makers? 4th. Are substantial workhorses 
cheap, and can plenty of provender be got for them on rea- 
sonable terms ? 

Upon receiving this information I think I shall be able 
to determine immediately with respect to proceeding person- 
ally to view the land and purchasing it. 5th. How far is 
the land from boatable water ? 

Keep me my dear Aunt in your affectionate remembrance. 
Present me respectfully and affectionately to my relatives and 
believe me, With great esteem, 

Yr. nephew, 

Wash- Oct. 3, 1815. C. W. 

Mrs. Eos a Harrington, 
Beausejour 4 , near 
Haley's Ferry, on the Peedee, 
Richmond County, 
North Carolina. 
Fayetteville P. Office. 



58 JAMES SPRUNT HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS 

1 Thls reference is to the death of Belah Strong, husband of Harriet 
Harrington, second daughter of General and Mrs. Harrington. Strong had 
recently been killed in a duel with a brother attorney named Holmes. See 
above. 

2 Charles W. Goldsborough's mother lived at Cambridge, Dorchester 
County, Maryland. See note ab-ve. 

3 Goldsborough went into business after his first retirement from the 
naval department. A former letter made inquiries about timber lands along 
the Peedee. Evidently the Harringtons hi reply made an offer to sell some 
of the timber lands of the old Harrington estate, this letter having reference 
to details of the projected transfer. 

4 The Harrington family removed from Fayetteville to the Harrington 
homestead, Beausejour, in Richmond County, sometime in September, 1815. 



CHESTER, 25 Sept., 1817. 
DEAR COUSIN 

It lias been a long time since I have heard of you. Yes- 
terday as I was coming from Washington to Baltimore one 
of the passengers observed he was from Fayetteville. 

I immediately inquired after you. He informed me that 
he was very well acquainted with you. 

I am now on my way to Chester, Pa., to join the Frank- 
lin 74. She will in the course of a few days sail for Eng- 
land, from there returns to the Mediterranean and remains 
there for two years. As I am in a great hurry I must com- 
mence ending my letter. Give my best love to all my ac- 
quaintances and relations. 

Your Affectionate cousin, 

L. M. GoLDSBOROUGH 1 . 

U. States. 

P. S. Thomas Owen Davis 2 desired me to give his best 
respects to you. 

Do excuse my bad writing. The motion of the vessel 
is so great that I hope my apology may be accepted. 

L. M. G. 
Mr. Henry Harrington, 

Fayetteville, K C. 
Politeness of 

M. D. Smith. 



1 Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough, son of Charles Washington Golds- 
borough, born in Washington, D. C., 18 Feb., 1805. entered the navy as 
midshipman at seven years of age. He was promoted lieutenant in January, 
1825, and after serving a short time in the Mediterranean squadron went 
to Paris and passed two years in study. In 1827 he joined the "North Caro- 
lina" in the Mediterranean, and while cruising hi the scnooner "Porpoise" 



THE HARRINGTON LETTERS 59 

In the Grecian archipelago, he commanded a night expedition of four boats 
and thirty-five men for the recovery of the English brig "Comet," which 
had been captured by Greek pirates. After a fierce fight, in which ninety 
of the pirates were killed, the "Comet" was rescued, and on the arrival of 
the expedition at Malta he received the thanks of the English government. 
In 1833 he married the daughter of William Wirt, a>cr went to Florida, 
taking with him a colony of Germans to cultivate lands belonging to his 
father-in-law. Durinsr the Semlnole war he commanded a company of volun- 
teer cavalry, and also an armed steamer. In September, 1841, he was 
promoted Commander. During the Mexican war he was executive oflicer 
of the frigate "Ohio," which bombarded Vera Cruz in March, 1847. From 
1853 to 1857 he was superintendent of the United States Naval Academy. In 
1858-60 he commanded the Sloop "Levant" in the Mediterranean, and the 
frigate "Congress" in Brazilian waters. He was commissioned Captain in 
1855. At the beginning of the Civil War In 1861 he was appointed flag- 
officer and placed in command of the "Minnesota," of the North Atlantic 
blockading squadron. In September, 1861, he planned and executed a joint 
army and navy expedition to the sounds of North Carolina, and cap- 
tured Roanoke Island Feb. 5, 1862. He received the thanss of Congress for 
his service. He was made rear admiral in July, 1862. In 1865 he com- 
manded the European squadron, in 1868 was ordered to Mare Island, Cali- 
fornia, and in 1873 was placed on the retired list, and thereafter made 
his home in Washington. At the time of his death, Feb. 20, 1877, he had 
been in service longer than any other naval oflicer then living and had seen 
more active duty. The letter to his cousin, appearing above, was written 
when he was twelve years old. 

2 Midshipman, 1 February, 1814. Resigned 4 October, 1822. 



GENTLEMEN 1 : I have delayed writing to you expecting 
some information from you respecting the dividing line, be- 
tween Richmond and Robeson or something relative to my 
business as surveyor. I beg leave to suggest to you my opinion 
as to the first that is if the line is to be ascertained agreeably 
to the Act of 1777 that we shall lose territory and of course 
a number of the inhabitants of Richmond will be turned over 
to Robeson. This you, Messrs Steele and Harrington will 
easily understand from the following observations (as you 
are acquainted with surveying). If the line of Robeson as 
now marked was called S. 45 W. it would be the nearest 
point to the South Carolina line from Overstreet's Bridge 
(now Campbell's) because the State line, is I believe !N". 45 
W. and would be a right angle. But behold the line as it now 
stands is S. 35 W. and a square to that would be !N". 55 W. 
which is 10 degrees farther from the North Pole than the 
State line and is an acute angle which must become nearer 
the North to find the nighest point to the South Carolina 
line from Overstreet's Bridge. If Mr. Gilchrist 2 will persist 
in having the Act dividing the line between Bladen and An- 
son now to affect the county of Richmond I think it 
strange indeed for you will find both counties made since 



60 JAMES SPRUNT HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS 

the passing of the Act that he wishes (as I have been told 
by Col. McQueen) renewed, or a line run according to the 
Act directing the line between Bladen and Anson. If he 
can show any Act directing the line between Eobeson and 
Richmond different from the old marked line that has stood 
and is well known, for many years back you must submit 
except where William Eobinson and other from Richmond 
gave all below or all south of Stewart's road to Robeson. But 
the year following the Act was repealed at the request of 
Mr. Stewart 3 , then a member. Anything you want, such 
as a petition or petitions you can have by writing on imme- 
diately. But I hope the legislature will not undertake to 
give one part of a county to another without strong prayers 
from the most of the inhabitants of that quarter which is 
not the case and as to the old line between Bladen and An- 
son neither of the original parties complained and I know 
no other reason but avarice why Robeson wishes any change. 
Mr. Harrington, I have found another of Charles Haley's 
which perhaps is the right one which you will find enclosed. 
If anything is lacking on my part that was entrusted to eith- 
er of you, that is material, pray write to me and I will do 
everything in my power at this late period to forward it. Mr. 
MclSTair will oblige me in paying to Mr. Hall Surveyor 
of State perhaps $1.50 that I owe him for copies or what- 
ever he says and I will settle with Mr. McNair when he 
comes home. I am Gentlemen your very 

Humble servant, 

L. MACALISTER. 
Dec. 9, 1817. 
Messrs. Thos. Steele, H. W. Harrington, & Neil McNair, 

the Members from Richmond County in General Assemb- 

ly, Raleigh, K C. 



1 This letter, concerning a boundary dispute between Robeson and Rich- 
mond counties, Is addressed to Thomas Steele. member of state senate, and 
H. W. Harrington and Neil McNair, members of the Commons fiom Richmond 
County in 1817. by L. Macalister, who appears to have been county sur- 
veyor for Richmond at this date. 

2 ,Tohn Gilchrist, member of House of Commons from Robeson In 1817, 
and very often a member of either House or Senate between 1803 and 1846. 

3 Jams Stewart, member of the state senate from Richmond County In 
1804, 1813, 1814, and 1815. 



THE HARRINGTON LETTERS 61 

CHARLESTON, 31 of July, 1843. 
MY DEAR SIR : 

I am now engaged in writing for the Southern Review 2 
an article the object of which is to place the Southern States 
in that position which properly belongs to them from, and in, 
the war of the Revolution. My sister Harrington 1 informed 
me that you were in the possession of the family papers and 
documents of your father, and would let me have them. 
If, my dear sir, you will carry out this pleasing news, you 
will greatly oblige me and I may be a pioneer in the cause 
of the South as your father in the cause of our liberty 
All old letters, memoranda, journals, pamphlets, etc., will 
be very acceptable. Mrs. Harrington will forward what 
you may please to favor me with. 

Yours truly, 
JOHN L. WiLSON 3 . 
Henry Harrington Esq r ., 

Rockingham, Richmond County, 
K C. 



*Mrs. James Auld Harrington (formerly Eleanor Wilson, daughter of 
Governor John Lyde Wilson, of South Carolina) resided at Cheraw, S. C. 

2 Evidently the "Southern Quarterly Review," founded at New Orleans 
In 1842 and published at Charleston, S. C., from 1843 to 1855, thence 
transferred to Columbia, S. C., for a few years, and afterward to Baltimore. 
The article referred to In this and the following letter seems never to have 
appeard in its columns. 

8 Son of Governor John Lyde Wilson of South Carolina. 



CHARLESTON, 24th of Aug., 1843 
MY DEAR SIR, 

My sister Eleanor 1 informed me, that on your hearing of 
my writing an article for the Southern Review in order to 
put the Southern States in the position that they ought to 
be, in the history of the United States, you were so kind as 
to say, I might have the use of the papers of your father. 
I wrote lately a hurried letter to you, which I directed to 
Rockingham upon this subject; since when, I have been in- 
formed of your correct address. You will greatly oblige me 
if you will permit me to have the use of the family papers, 
which may be safely and expeditiously forwarded from Che- 



62 JAMES SPRUNT HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS 

raw; and my sister E. has promised to attend to that for 
me. If you would accompany the papers with a succinct 
biographical sketch of your Father the kindness will be the 
greater. I know he held many important stations in the 
Revolution, and was a man not only of great intelligence, 
but also of great method and order. 

Accept the assurance of my respect and regards 

JOHN L. WILSON. 
Henry Harrington, Esq., 
Rockingham, 

Richmond Count, 
North Carolina. 



1 Eleanor Wilson Harrington, wife of James Auld Harrington, of Cheraw, 
S. C. 



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